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Biking in Seattle? In January?(11 posts)

Biking in Seattle? In January?mbologna
Dec 30, 2002 12:54 PM
I'm going to be working in Seattle for about 6 weeks starting Monday, and am wondering if it is worth it to ship my road bike? I'll be staying in a corporate apartment downtown. Are there a lot of places to ride in Seattle, from downtown? What about the weather in January and February? Are there group rides this time of year?

Does anyone have experience with the best way to ship a bike? Is there a reasonable place to rent a bike instead?

Thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions!
Bring a light if you come and bring everything that's waterproofchopper
Dec 30, 2002 1:05 PM
It doesn't get too cold here but it will be very wet. From downtown there are a lot of good rides you can do. For instance, the Burke-Gilman trail starts just north of downtown in Fremont and is 40 miles long and goes all the way to Redmond, 99% of the ride is on a MUT and round trip is a nice 80 miler. You can also do the Lake Washington Loop which is about 40 miles and takes you north of Lake Washington and over the I-90 bridge's bike path. If you get adventurous you can take the ferry to Bainbridge Island and rides some of the beautiful hills there. There is a ride called the Chilly Hilly which is done in February and the cue sheet is available from You can ride onto the ferry right from downtown Seattle, you wont be dissapointed if its a nice day. Another good ride would be to Alki Beach through the south side of town passing Safeco Field and Seahawks stadium. Alki Beach provides the best view of downtown Seattle.

The closest LBS to Downtown is Elliott Bay Bicycles right next to Pike Place Market and if you decide to rent a bike I think the best place is Gregg's in Greenlake.
Dec 30, 2002 1:25 PM
You can bike, in fact I am heading out for a ride right now!

Snow is very rare, but there are occasional snow storms. It will likely be 35-45 deg and raining/drizzle so bring booties and rain gear. If it does get colder then it will likely be clear, so either way your ok to ride. One other thing is that the city is very hilly, so if your coming from the plains then bring gears more than 39-23 or your going to be walking up something like the Queen Ann hill counterbalance.

Montlake Bike Shop and Ti Cycle rent nice bikes for reasonable rates and you might check Elliott Bay Bikes just North of Pike Place Market downtown for convienence. Check out for some rides.
windstorms...yeah right
Dec 30, 2002 1:47 PM
are my biggest problem here in seattle (i'm home for holidays). There's lots of crap down after storms so just remeber to be careful. You'll need substantial clothes and I wouldn't be too comfortable riding a real nice roadbike this time of year, especially if it's steel, and don't forget fenders, a large percentage of even the fastest riders use them this time of year. That being said, I've been doing more running on the treadmill than riding due to weather, however, there are nice days, and stay for summer, and you'll see why it's worth it.
Best place to ride after windstorms is the Sammamishchopper
Dec 30, 2002 2:11 PM
River Trail portion of the Burke-Gilman, since there aren't too many trees on the eastside part of the trail it doesn't have all the crap that's on the other parts of the trail and roads, but you aren't kidding about how much crap is on the side of the road.
Best place to ride after windstorms is the Sammamishyeah right
Dec 30, 2002 2:40 PM
I actually live on lake sammamish, so the river trail is great, and it is where i ride these days mostly (especially since there aren't many walkers on there this time of year), but the three or four miles on the lk sammamish pkwy from my house is the killer. very true
re: Biking in Seattle? In January?ASiegel993
Dec 30, 2002 2:12 PM
It can be done very easily. Lots of good riding around here. Just make sure you're ok with rain and/or wet roads. Don't worry about the debri on the roads right now. That was a storm that was rather rare. The best way to ship your bike is to box it up. Take it to your LBS and they should be able to give you a bike box and tell you how to box it safely and properly. If you need to rent, Gregg's in Greenlake would be my suggestion too. I have a few friends who work there and they're good guys and the shop has great selection. If you need bike stuff of any type, I'd say that's the place to check out.
rare?yeah right
Dec 30, 2002 2:43 PM
i've lived in the seattle area all 22 years of my life, and i would consider windstorms in early winter anything but rare. however, i agree that it can be a nice place to ride in the winter, as the conditions aren't usually very harsh if you can stand the wet. second (or third) the reccomendation on gregg's.
People don't get tan in Seattle, that color is rust! nmgogene
Dec 30, 2002 2:53 PM
People don't get tan in Seattle, that color is rust! nmChunky
Dec 31, 2002 1:02 PM
Noooo! We get nice cyclist's tan in summer and have our pasty complexion back in winter. Couldn't be better. Rust? What's that? You must live on east coast. All that salt and snow.....
re: Biking in Seattle? In January?mixinbeatz
Dec 31, 2002 7:22 AM
Seattle is a great place to ride. Send me an email at if you want some specific directions on group rides. Bring a bike that you don't mind getting wet(although my steel bianchi has 30,000 wet miles without a spec of rust), and fenders are a must if you want to ride in a group. I would not rent a bike, but try and borrow a case or rent one and ship your bike. Most good shops will have a couple of cases laying around and can give you a good price on a multiple week rental. You will save $$$ in the end. Just make sure you zip tie the box up, and tell the baggage people that it is "trade show stuff for work," and you can avoid the silly airline charges.