Bicycle riders taking advantage of Bicycle Sundays on Seattle's Lake Washington Blvd. No cars allowed.
The Bicycle Fixer
Chilly Hilly, Seattle to Portland bicycle ride
RSVP and Ramrod
Seattle area Bicycle rides
Is your bike ready?
A tune-up before Chilly Hilly or any early season bicycle ride is a great way to get your bicycle ready for the rigors of regular usage and skip the spring rush!. If you're pulling your bicycle out of the garage after several months or years of not riding, the tire pressure will be low or the tire sidewalls might be dry and/or cracked. If your most recent bicycle maintenance was last year, now is the time to inspect your bike and fix anything before the rubber meets the road of Bainbridge Islands Chilly Hilly. If you purchased a bicycle or parts at the Seattle Bike Swap, The Bicycle Fixer would be available to make your bicycle safe, efficient and an enjoyment for bicycle rides. Call or text (253) 486-7468 or touch base with me at firstname.lastname@example.org now. With the Seattle to Portland bike ride happening in July and the RSVP bike ride in August, your bike should always be inspected and serviced before any long bicycle rides. Even if it's tuned for STP and you plan to ride RSVP and you ride regularly in-between, plan on basic service. If you ride several events/yr plus commute or are a regular rider, your bike will need upwards of 2 of the Performance Service packages:
Includes brake/shifter/derailleur adjustments, minor wheel truing and chain lube
Seattle area bicycle rides
No matter what type of bicycle riding you like, there's a wealth of events, rides, trails and races to suit all bicycle riders. If you're just starting out or have young ones in tow, Bicycle Sunday in Seattle sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club is a fun way to enjoy your day. It's takes place during the summer on a section of Lk Washington Blvd that is blocked to vehicular traffic. If Bicycle Sunday sounds a bit hectic then Seward Park has a playground for the kids, picnic areas and a walking/biking trail around its perimeter that's not quite as busy as Lk Washington Blvd. Parking for Bicycle Sunday is located at Seward Park, the Genesee Park area or Mount Baker beach. For more bicycle rides and events sponsored by Cascade Bicycle Club, there's several inks below in the events calendar.
If you're interested in starting racing you can always go to Seward Park on Thursday nights in the upper parking lot and talk to folks there about getting started. Races start around 5pm and run from April to early Sept. For more information on local and regional racing events, click the link below. The schedule is set up for monthly viewing. Includes all disciplines (road racing, mountain bike, track, cyclocross, and gravel rides ).
A fantastic program for school age kids, is the Washington Student Cycling League This was founded to give kids from middle school to high school a chance to participate in low key mountain bike races with their peers on safe and fun courses around the Puget Sound region and other Washington state locales.
Ride and event Schedules
Chilly-Hilly February (last Sunday of the month)
Ride for Major Taylor April 24
Lake Chelan Tour Lite Apr 29-May 1
Bicycle Sunday May-Sept
Gig Harbor Tour Lite May 6-8
Bike-n-Brews (south) May 22
Flying Wheels June 4
Bikes n Brews (north) Tentative
Emerald City Ride Tentative
STP / Seattle to Portland July 15-16
Seattle Nite Ride Tentative
RAMROD July 27
Ride Around Washington July 31- Aug 6
High Pass Challenge Aug 5
RSVP Aug 26-27
Wine Ride/ Woodinville Sept 10
Kitsap Color Classic Sept 24
Walla Walla Tour Lite Sept 29-Oct 1
All the above rides are sponsored through Cascade Bicycle Club except Bicycle Sunday and RAMROD. I've provided links below for more pertinent details.
Burke-Gilman Trail / Sammamish River Trail / Seattle rides
There are many notable bicycle rides and trails throughout King County, Seattle and other nearby areas. The Rails to Trails Conservancy made it possible for many bicycle riders and other users to experience safe and redeveloped rail right-of-ways. Most notably is the Burke-Gilman Trail (or BGT) from Seattle to Log Boom Park in Kenmore. The Burke-Gilman trail starts in Ballard and meanders through the Fremont, Wallingford, University neighborhoods before turning north near Sand Point to parallel the west side of Lake Washington and ending in Kenmore at Log Boom Park with a direct connection to the SRT. There are views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade foothills along the way. For those that travel from the north, there's parking at Log Boom Park (north terminus of the Burke-Gilman trail) and along the shoulder of NE 175th St east of 61st Ave NE in Kenmore. For parking on 175th stay on the north side (next to the grassy shoulder). Another alternative is NE 165th in Lake Forest Park on Beach Dr NE. The parking is limited here (park next to trail!) and it's a residential community so please leave room for the locals. After pedaling east from the Burke Gilman Trail, riders immediately encounter a highly popular extension, another rails to trails gift, the Sammamish River Trail. The Sammamish River trail can be ridden all the way to Woodinville, Redmond, Marymoor Park and the Lake Sammamish area. If you're really adventurous or looking for a big loop bicycle ride, continue to the eastside of Marymoor Park where it intersects the trail along east Lake Sammamish. Turn right and head south. This will bring you all the way to Issaquah. It's a flat ride the whole way so enjoy yourself. At some points along the way, you may encounter views of the Olympics, the Issaquah Alps and eagles nesting. Along the Sammamish River trail there's parking at Bothell Landing, Sammamish River Trail Park (across from old downtown Bothell), in Woodinville, and at several locations in the Sammamish River valley and Marymoor Park. The distance from Ballards' government locks to Marymoor Park via the Burke-Gilman trail/ SRT is about 30 miles. If you undertake a complete ride from Seattle to Redmond or vice-versa, there are plenty of rest stops along the trail. You can reference the King County.gov link below to see the full trail system and it's many entry points. Another great rails to trails option is the Centennial Trail in Snohomish County. This trail runs 30 miles paralleling Hwy 9 from Snohomish through Arlington to Skagit County. This trail is also a part of the RSVP bike ride held in August. RSVP is on hiatus as at the time Covid-19 entry rules to Canada won't allow the ride to happen. Let's hope it returns in 2023. For more information click the Sno-county link. Rails to Trails also helped secure funding for purchasing several other abandoned rail right-of-ways. Other Rails to Trails include The John Wayne trail, the Foothills Trail in Puyallup, the Interurban from Tukwila to Algona/Pacific and many more. A Rails to Trails purchase in the Kirkland area gave us the Cross Kirkland Corridor trail. The future plans are for transit but at this time, bicycle riders and walkers are welcome to use it. Many believe it will incorporate a multi-use trail which would make commuting through Kirkland by bicycle safer. Below are links to bike route maps for the above trails including the Burke-Gilman trail. http://snohomishcountywa.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Centennial-Trail-33 https://www.alltrails.com/us/washington/rails-trails
Riding in Seattle can be a bit hectic (it is big of course) but if you want a leisurely bicycle ride with spectacular local views, head to Alki. You'll be sharing the path with walkers, skaters, other cyclists and gawkers. It's Seattle's version of a boardwalk. The views of the Olympic range are inspiring and the views of Seattle's skyline along Harbor Ave SW are something to take in. There's also a great selection of eateries along Alki Drive so you won't go hungry. Rental bikes are also available at a few places in West Seattle. In mid-fall you can see Orca's in Puget Sound and seals in Elliott Bay feeding on the salmon migrating towards the Duwamish river and beyond. If you drive, there's parking along Harbor Ave and some parking lots. For a full day adventure, you can catch one of many Washington state ferries along Seattle's waterfront that traverse Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton. Bainbridge Island is a popular cycling destination with many semi-quiet back roads and small farms dotting the area. Views of Seattle's skyline and the Cascade mountains from the eastside of the island are abundant. The trip from downtown Seattle to Winslow (beautiful city on Bainbridge Island) takes about 35 minutes and you'll enjoy the views of the Olympics and Seattle's waterfront from the ferry decks. Winslow has grown culturally in the last several years and now boasts some fine restaurants and cafes, art galleries and a fantastic bicycle museum. There's also a bicycle rental just a few steps from the ferry dock. Check ahead.
Bainbridge Island is the location of the long-running Chilly-Hilly bicycle ride which occurs every February as a kick-off to the local cycling season! Another ferry option is to board a Washington state ferry in West Seattle just south of Lincoln Park on Fauntleroy Way. From here a ferry will take you to Vashon Island (note: there's also a direct ferry to Southworth). It's a bit of a climb up the hill into town but it's worth the effort! If you would rather, you can continue on the ferry to Southworth in Kitsap County. If you want a weekend camping getaway by bicycle, there's 35 tent sites at Manchester State Park, https://parks.state.wa.us/542/Manchester. It's about 7.5 miles to the park from Southworth. Reservations are required for May-mid September camping. Otherwise Sept 16-May 14 dates are on a first come/first serve basis. There are also 3 biker/hiker sites w/o picnic tables or braziers. These are also first come/first serve. Washington State runs a very consistent ferry schedule with the worlds largest ferry fleet traversing many bodies of water around the state. Edmonds to Kingston and Mukilteo to Clinton on Whidbey Island are some other local favorites for cyclists. Washington State ferries, https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/, schedule is posted online. Tickets for bicyclists are very reasonable.
Seattle to Portland bike ride / RSVP bike ride and RAMROD. Every July is the big ride, STP or the Seattle to Portland bike ride to be more exact. This ride promoted by the Cascade Bicycle Club is sold out months in advance every year which should give an indication of it's popularity. You can ride it in one day if so inclined or take both days averaging about 100 miles/day. This mass start bicycle ride actually started as a bicycle race in 1979 and has run contiguously since except for 1980 when a certain Mt. St. Helens blew it's top. The STP is fully supported with food and bicycle mechanic stations along the way. There are many small towns along the way so if you're short on food, please patronize the local establishments. If you haven't been training for the ride or haven't done any rides of 60-70 miles or 5-6 hours in the saddle, it will be a tough two days. Your bicycle should be fully tuned up including new tires, chain, cassette, cables and brake shoes as needed. If you're ready but the bicycle isn't, breaking down between aid stations can be tiresome as you might have to walk a bit (there are vehicles on the course route that can pick you up and take you to an aid station). It's highly recommended to carry a spare tube (two is better!), a quality pump and a backup patch kit. Also carry some energy bars, fig newtons, bananas or something you like to keep your body fueled up for the long day ahead (try various foods well before a long day). I like fig newtons as an energy snack but maybe your body won't. Riding and trying various foods is the only way you'll ever know what works. The aid/food stops are great places to refill those two water bottles you emptied and to restock on energy foods. The Seattle to Portland bicycle ride is a challenging event as approximately 200 miles over the course of two days is big even for the everyday rider. If your training ride's for STP have been only about 30-40 miles/day, you still have a enough time to start in April to get in several longer training rides of 50-60 miles. If you can commute to work by bike, find a route that adds about 5-10 (one way) miles to your daily routine, then add a 3-3.5 hour 50 miler on the weekend. You can make it through those 50+ miles by taking rest stops about once per hour. Keep your stops short (about 5-10 minutes max), fill your water bottles, stretch a bit and move on. About two months before the ride, start to stretch those rides out to 4.5 hours and 70 miles. If you can get out and do a several 7-8 hour days, the ride will be a lot easier and more enjoyable. Cascade Bicycle Club and other local riding clubs offer training rides to help get you in shape for this endeavor. The week of STP, keep riding your commuting schedule. Take a light ride a few days before Seattle to Portland. Get plenty of rest on Friday, the day before the start, as the Seattle to Portland bike ride kicks off in the early morning hours. Remember your gloves and helmet. Oh, have I said the ride is mostly in Washington state! Let's hope we don't encounter any liquid sunshine but just in case, bring a rain cape. Fenders should also be installed as yes, there are years where the liquid stuff from the sky shines on Seattle to Portland. Enjoy your bicycle ride, please ride straight, announce "on your left" if you are passing others and be respectful of other riders, drivers and the neighbors. See you out there! Also note I will be providing service as needed for the annual RSVP bike ride and can be found at the Maltby Community Center on Broadway Ave in Maltby on Broadway Ave. I will be available as the first riders pedal through at approximately 7am (I'll be there by 6:45am). I'll have all the same items generally needed for the Seattle to Portland bike ride; tubes, tires, wheels, brakeshoes, spare water, cables, etc. This is not an "official" stop like you find on STP but riders do occasionally encounter unforeseen mechanical issues on long rides. The location will be noted on the map and notes provided at the Cascade Bicycle Club website. And then there's RAMROD! So you think you've ridden a bike a long ways and done big mountains all in the same day?! Not even the pro teams in the TdF or Giro pull this stunt, well, they do in some spring classics. Ok, in the days when men were men (or so they thought) the Tour de France and Giro d' Italia had some epic days in the saddle that would go on for 150+ miles with mountain passes included. Well, RAMROD is kind of like that except we have multi-speed bikes with gears that are much lower geared than 48 x 16 or 47/50 x 14/26 being a 4 speed freewheel. The bicycle ride encompasses about 10,000' of climbing in 150 miles. The views are breathtaking as you circumnavigate Mt. Rainier. If you do this ride in 10 hours or less, that's quite a feat. Under 9 hours, that's about a 17mph average or more!
Mountain bike trails
The best info for the local scene is the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance
Evergreen is a great group advocating for trails and leads trail building groups, classes for everyone and a mountain bike festival. Their site will have a comprehensive list of mtn bike parks and trails.
The following list are some of the more established westside trail areas
Duthie (Sammamish Plateau)
Paradise Conservation area (Maltby area)
Maple Valley/ Henry's Ridge and the Black Diamond trails
Tiger Mountain and Preston Railway mtn bike trails (Issaquah)
Sun Top (Hwy 410)
No matter what ride you choose to do, be safe and enjoy the local scenery and say Hi as you go!