10,000 bicylists heading south to Portland

Courtesy Anne-Marije Rook / Cascade Bicycle Club

SEATTLE - They were up early, and out on the road.  10,000 bicylists put pedal to the metal on the Group Health Seattle to Portland Classic.  The riders headed south from Husky Stadium parking, down state highways and local roads, ending up in Portland.  The first bicyclists took off at 4:45 a.m. Saturday, on the 200 mile trek to the Rose City.  Of the 10,000 participants, 18% were first-time riders, many of the riders came from across the country and overseas.  One of the riders in today's race is 85-years-old.

The Washington State Patrol reported that two bicyclists were involved in separate accidents today in Pierce County.  One bike collided with a car on SR-507 near Roy and the bicyclist was transported to the hospital with a possible broken ankle.  The other accident happened near SR 7 at 168th where the bicyclist collided with another car, but no one was hurt.

Approximately 2500 riders finish the 200 mile race in one day; the others take two days to finish.  The race is the major fundraiser for the Cascade Bicycle Club of Seattle, according to a press release from Group Health.