Chehalis Western TrailSo this morning, Brandon, Chuck and I headed down to Thurston county to try out a new trail. Chuck had ridden it a few times, but it was new to Brandon and I. The trail is the Chehalis Western Trail. It runs from Olympia down to Tenino. We started in Lacey and did 14.5 miles down to highway 507 near Rainier and back for a total of 29 miles. It's a very pretty trail, most of which is covered in a canopy of trees. On the trail you pass golf courses, equestrian centers, farms and residential neighborhoods. We saw people jogging, walking, walking dogs, bicycling and in-line skating. Overall the trail is really nice. It's not as clean as the Foothills trail, but I think that's mostly due to the tree canopy. There are lots of little sticks, leaves, etc. that you've got to watch out for. It's not trashy at all.
At about the 12 mile mark, I could see someone in a bright orange coat up ahead of us on a bicycle. We had been gaining on him pretty steadily for a bit, but I wanted to make sure we caught and passed him before we got to our turn around point. So I turned on the gas and watched my speedometer climb over 20 MPH. I think I saw 23.0 a couple times when I looked down. It took us a few minutes, but we finally caught him with about 1/2 mile to go. He was probably doing 17 or 18 MPH, so I'm sure he was somewhat surprised to hear "On your left" as I went cruising by him. I definitely couldn't keep that pace much longer, but it was fun to reel him in anyway! There were also a couple times going up a grade that Brandon and Chuck got ahead of me, but on the flats or downhill, I poured it on again and caught up with them.
On the way back I wanted to see if we could do a mile in under 3:00. A 3:00 mile is averaging 20.0 MPH. So at mile 21, we turned it on and at mile 22, my lap timer read 2:50! Most all of our miles were in the 3:30 - 3:45 range, so the overall average for the ride was really good, 15.9 MPH moving average I think. Definitely one of my fastest rides so far. At about 25 miles, Brandon and Chuck sensing they were almost done, started to get way ahead of me again. With about 2 miles left, I wanted to see if I could catch them. I didn't, but I only finished about 20 seconds behind them. The ride felt really good and I was able to challenge myself a few times too. I'd like to do the 22 miles to Tenino and back sometime in the near future.
If you're looking for a new trail, this one is really nice. I'd recommend it!
Click on the map below for details about the ride:
Map of Chehalis Western Trail from Lacey to Highway 507 (29 miles round trip)