If #Realign99 has you considering commuting by bicycle, this is for you

In case you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s a way to try biking between here and downtown as an alternative during #Realign99 and beyond. Doug suggested the spotlight:

West Seattle Bike Connections and Cascade Bicycle Club are hosting a free ride next Saturday, January 5th, at 9:30 am to help potential first-time bike commuters test out the West Seattle to downtown bike commute. Don Brubeck will be leading the ride, which will be leaving from the Starbucks in Alaska Junction.

This should be an opportunity for anyone searching for alternatives during the viaduct closure to test out the bike ride on a calm, weekend morning with plenty of others.

The full ride will be about 16 miles round trip and will follow the waterfront to Seattle Center, then come back through South Lake Union and downtown. Those interested in a shorter 8-mile ride could stop for a coffee in Occidental Square, then rejoin the group as it passes back through Pioneer Square on the return trip.

Full details are here.

19 Replies to "If #Realign99 has you considering commuting by bicycle, this is for you"

  • WS resident December 30, 2018 (4:42 pm)

    What a nice thing to do! A great idea!

  • ArborHeightsRes December 30, 2018 (5:35 pm)

    This is great, but what about a trial ride for those of us who don’t live near the junction, nor is it an easy ride to get to the junction?

    • Sky King December 30, 2018 (7:29 pm)

      @ArborHeightsRes, it sounds like you’re offering to coordinate and lead additional rides. Will you post the details here when your plans are firmed up?

    • Mallory December 30, 2018 (8:32 pm)

      I’ll be leaving from Arbor Heights to go on this ride if you want to ride with my family to the junction. It’s a pretty easy ride, this coming from a confident but anxious rider.

    • Don Brubeck December 30, 2018 (9:13 pm)

      Arborheightres,A good bike route from Arbor Heights to the WS Junction is the new WS neighborhood greenway route, except use Morgan instead of Graham because the signal is not yet installed at Graham & 35th.Or the C-Line to get to this ride.

  • Mj December 30, 2018 (5:54 pm)

    Hoping for some dry weather during the closure!  Riding in the rain is not an option for many, much less safe, bike brakes are not effective, and without fenders water spray is an issue.

    • Jort December 30, 2018 (10:32 pm)

      Are wet bike brakes as as ineffective or unsafe as motor vehicles, which cause tens of thousands of deaths in America every year? Interestingly, bike brakes work in the rain as well as the sun! But of course “water spray” might be as bad as the thousands and thousands of Americans who die every year as a result of automobiles. 

      • Wet pedler December 31, 2018 (6:22 am)

        When riding in the rain I’ll often apply my brakes before those areas where they are likely to be needed to dry them and remove what debris might have collected.  Wet brakes still work, just not as well.  The slower you ride the less brake you need, so adjust you speed for the conditions.”Water spray” is definitely as issue, on both front and rear tires.(most) Fenders alone aren’t the  answer, having a ‘spray flap’ (very similar to a mud flap on a vehicle) will considerably reduce the amount of water splashed onto your feet from the front tire, and onto your back and any riders behind you from the rear tire.There are some great neoprene shoe covers available to protect your feet and shoes, however I keep an extra pair of socks at work for those occasions when water is able to find a foot or two.Remember; There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear and bad attitude!Happy and safe riding…  

      • Tracey December 31, 2018 (7:26 am)

        I am growing tired of the mean bike commuters in West Seattle.   I am envious of your workplace flexibility and energy level.  Bicycles will never be an alternative to fossil fuels.   I would love to rollerblade to work everyday but time, weather, circumstances  don’t permit and I don’t have a dedicated lane.  I just wish we could all be a little nicer to one another. 

        • Kathy December 31, 2018 (2:52 pm)

          Transportation by bicycle  IS an alternative to using fossil fuels. And unlike rollerblades, you can ride safely on steep hills because you have brakes. An electric pedal assist bike makes it even easier to bike sweat-free on hills and in headwinds. It’s not always as fast as a car, but it’s four times as efficient as walking. Sometimes you can go faster than the cars (like on the Spokane Street Bridge when traffic is backed up while you are able to cruise by on the trail). Plus it’s easy to find parking and relatively secure if you park in a highly visible place and use a couple of  locks to discourage bike theft.

        • CMT December 31, 2018 (8:08 pm)

          100% agree with the sentiment of your post Tracey.  The thought of biking to work given my own current circumstances is absurd and that is true for many.  The reality is that the upcoming changes are going to cause unavoidable (in any realistic way) hardship for many.  Let’s acknowledge that and sincerely try to help one another, even if that other is not going to get on a bicycle.  

          • sam-c January 3, 2019 (3:19 pm)

            I love how everyone assumes that biking or public
            transportation is every SOV driver’s answer, or that we are all going downtown. 

            I rarely leave WS, since this is where my office is, but
            I’ll be one of those SOV’s sitting in traffic, as I try to make my way to
            project sites  in Wallingford, Queen Anne,
            Magnolia, Bellevue……

             Plus, my kids aren’t good enough bike riders to bike home
            from childcare/ school. Don’t know that I would want them to either, especially when it’s dark out and most drivers are
            driving distracted-ly.

    • west sea neighbor December 31, 2018 (7:42 am)

      Modern bicycle disc brakes work just as well in wet weather as in dry weather.

      • Rick January 1, 2019 (9:06 am)

        Guess I’ll have to steal me one of them newfangled ones then.

  • Don Brubeck December 30, 2018 (9:01 pm)

    MJ dry weather would be nice, but not likely for the  closure.  It’s not an option for everybody, but lots of people do ride year round in our fairly mild climate. Fenders are definitely a plus. Brakes can work fine — your local bike shop can make sure yours are working well for winter riding.

  • Mj December 30, 2018 (10:07 pm)

    DonThe timing of the closure is not great for the bike option for many.  I’m hoping for a dry day that opens the door to give it a try.  Winter riding is something that I have not tried in the past, other than local short hops to my chiropractor.MJ

  • McFail December 30, 2018 (10:33 pm)

    The “new” waterfront has been dangerous especially going SB during the evening commute.  Dark, poorly lit and no bike lanes, with cars (Lyft and Uber) darting in and out of the loading areas at the ferries.  The old path is no longer continuous and under the viaduct seems closed to through traffic.  I hope they are making  improvements for the big closure…

    • Tsurly December 31, 2018 (7:01 am)

      Totally agreed. Because of that, WSBC has been aggressively relaying these concerns to SDOT, which has evolved into a small group of folks who ride that stretch daily working directly with them to address the hazards. While a contiguous bike lane would have been the best solution, a combo of the surface street and the ped/bike path on the west side of Alaska Way is what we have to work with.

  • Watcher December 31, 2018 (3:25 pm)

    Jort. Thank’s for the insight!! Coming from someone that drives a car to work you’ve got first hand knowledge!!

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