Bicycle Quarterly Un-MeetingJan Heine
This year’s Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting will take place on September 26 and 27 in Cle Elum, Washington. The Un-Meeting is a simple idea for an event: Anybody is invited, but there is no organization, there are no entry fees, and no services are provided. The logistics of how to get to the Un-Meeting, where to stay, and where to eat are up to you.
We’ll go on some rides together and enjoy an evening campfire. The idea is based on the “Meetings” of Vélocio in 1920s France, where cyclotourists would gather to ride and exchange ideas.
Last year’s Un-Meeting (above) saw a diverse group of about 35 riders, who enjoyed at grand day out. To participate in the Un-Meeting, a basic level of fitness and a well-working bike are recommended, but you don’t need an Allroad bike, nor professional-level fitness. Last year’s event saw a rider on 23 mm tires and another on a hybrid commuter. All had a great time.
This year’s rides will vary in length between approximately 40 and 80 miles. Some will be paved, others will include gravel.
Cle Elum has some amazing roads. There is the Old Blewett Pass (above), which winds its way up to the crest of the Cascades, before plunging back down in a series of fast hairpin turns.
Canyon Road (above) is a wonderful road to Ellensburg that is all paved and smooth…and there is one of my favorite restaurants at the end. One of our rides probably will explore the gravel road that goes from the town of Liberty to Swauk Pass (aka New Blewett Pass).
Unlike last year in Packwood, there are numerous dining options in Cle Elum (not limited to this quaint burger place), and getting there is easy, too. In line with the spirit of Vélocio’s meetings, we encourage you to travel to the Un-Meeting by bike or public transportation, rather than by car. By bike, Cle Elum is about 90 miles from Seattle, with plenty of backroad options. The Greyhound bus serves Cle Elum, too, but unless you have a Rinko bike, you’ll have to box your bike. You could even enjoy the scenic train ride to Leavenworth and then enjoy the jog over Old Blewett Pass in anticipation of the Un-Meeting. We’ll post more details about where we’re meeting as the date approaches.
Mark your calendars! All of us at Bicycle Quarterly hope to see you in Cle Elum in September.