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Road biking in the Seattle area?(7 posts)

Road biking in the Seattle area?DAS
Nov 25, 2001 8:19 PM
Can anyone give me some feedback on what the roadbiking is like in Seattle? Epic? Average? Too much rain, too much traffic, too cold? Only 6 mo/yr or year round? Is it great as long as you dress warm? What are some favorite routes/areas? Are there cycling clubs/organized rides? I'm guessing it's fantastic since the area is so beautiful, green, and mountainous, but I haven't heard from the experts yet.

re: Road biking in the Seattle area?sprockets2
Nov 25, 2001 9:00 PM
It is pretty good, overall. Yes, it rains too much. If you are a warm/dry weather weenie you might not ever adjust. Seriously. It is pathetic all Fall, Winter, and early Spring. But, that doesn't keep it from happening. You live, you learn, you adjust.

In-city riding is not as good as it is made out to be. While there are some routes, and some good advocacy efforts, there are too many cyclists killed each year.

Lots of good clubs. Maybe the Cascade Bike Club is king ( ?? cant remember)of them all. They run the Seattle to Portland mass-ride each year. Lots of fun.

Bike shops are sorta sparse, and they have been dropping off in recent years, but we have some good ones. Greggs (in several locations), and the Montlake Bike shop both come to mind as really good.

If there is one negative, and this IS from someone who does not have the FULL scope of the region, most of the rural rides are too heavily driven for my tastes. Most roads are fairly important arteries for the locals in their pick-ups, who really don't like brightly dressed cyclists entering their world, if only for a couple of seconds.

Come give it a try.
re: Road biking in the Seattle area?siclmn
Nov 25, 2001 9:16 PM
You could say that it is great as long as you dress for the temperature but the problem is rain. The only two months that can be dry are July and August. The other 10 months of the year will be full of rides that get rained out.
re: Road biking in the Seattle area?Trent in WA
Nov 25, 2001 9:50 PM
The rbr server just ate my longish, reasoned reply to your query, alas, but the jist of it was that, yes, there's a ton of good biking in the area, a good collection of clubs and organized rides, as many bike shops as you could reasonably want to patronize, and plenty of opportunities to ride up hills in the wet and the dark--which if you live here, you will do, or grow so fat and sluggish that you won't have the energy or wherewithal to act on your suicidal impulses. The drivers here are by and large well-mannered, moreso than any other place I've lived in the States.

But it is wet and dark here from October through March. Seattle bikers care about things like fender clearance in ways that, I suspect, riders from elsewhere find touching. But it's worth it.

If you want some good, long rides in the area, check out the Seattle International Randonneurs brevet archive at There are also some good rides in Bicycling the Backroads Around Puget Sound.

Hope this helps,
Old Line: Do you know why Seattle has so many bridges?Birddog
Nov 26, 2001 6:27 AM
They need the space for the people to line up who want to jump.
There is a reason why Seattle has the oldest suicide prevention/crisis phoneline in the world. For at least 5 (usually 7) months, the sky is a tarnished gray color, and if it isn't raining, then it is oozing.It can be very depressing. Summer starts on July 1st and lasts until late Sept, sometimes early Oct. Any other time of the year is a crap shoot. Seattle is glorious in the summer and a great place to be a tourist, but I wouldn't live there again unless the money was outrageous.
re: Road biking in the Seattle area?Eames
Nov 26, 2001 9:05 AM
Not much else to add, it rains, use fenders, that's life.

We do have a fair number of cyclists everything from recreational to teams. I'm not sure any pro in their right mind would live/train around here.

BTW it is
re: Road biking in the Seattle area?Rod
Nov 26, 2001 10:23 AM

Yes, it rains too often for a cyclist's liking. But it's not very cold during the winter (marine temperate climate). I do most of my riding from April through October. Traffic is a route-specific issue. Personally, I don't like cycling in Seattle or any large city. Too many stop signs and signal lights that interfere with the rhythm of a good ride. The Seattle-to-Portland ride is an exception since the police give cyclists right-of-way at most of the urban intersections. However, rural riding at all compass points away from Seattle is great. Moderate to low traffic two-lane rural roads are abundant, and most are in good condition. I live about an hour's drive south of Seattle and ride almost exclusively rural roads beginning at my driveway. In Seattle, I'm inclined to drive a half-hour to a good point to begin riding. The Burke-Gilman trail is wildly popular, but I don't care for it for serious cycling: numerous stop signs and crowded with non-cycling users. The upshot is that the Pacific NW 'area' offers very good cycling 6 months of the year.