Active City Spotlight: Seattle


Places to Ride

One of the more beautiful rides you will ever experience is the climb to the Chinook Pass, down near Mount Rainier.

Start at the Crystal Mountain cut off road to the Chinook Pass summit for a truly epic experience. The last 3.5 miles of the climb is light on vehicle traffic and features panoramic views of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and other notable peaks of the Cascade Mountains.

Some riders say that it's not just the most scenic ride in Washington, but maybe in the entire United States.

Other routes include:

Seattle: A loop around Lake Washington is about 50 miles in length and is quite popular among local cyclists.

Mercer Island: Connected to the mainland by I-90, a loop around Mercer Island is about 13 miles. Even better, it has no stops and no lights, and plenty of hills.

Bainbridge Island: Take a $5 ferry to Bainbridge Island and pack your bike. A loop around the island is about 30 miles and has plenty of great views of the Puget Sound.

Seattle: The Burke-Gilman Trail is a 27-mile trail that connects Seattle to Bothell. There, it becomes the Sammamish River Trail and continues on, for up to 40 miles of uninterrupted riding.

Events to Remember

The aforementioned Bainbridge Island loop is cool, so why not explore it as part of an organized event?

One catch—pack some warm gear.

The Chilly Hilly in February takes a ferry to Bainbridge Island and then does a 33-mile loop around the island, offering plenty of hills and panoramic views of Puget Sound.

The Chilly Hilly is put on by the Cascade Bike Club, the largest bike club in the United States with more than 15,000 members.

Other rides include:

  • The Tour de Peaks in August explores Snoqualmie Valley with rides of 100, 50 and 25 miles.
  • The Tour de Whidbey in September circles Whidbey Island near the mouth of the Puget Sound.
  • RAMROD, which stands for Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day, takes place in July. It has 10,000 feet of climbing in 152 miles.

Stores to Check Out

Elliott Bay Bicycles, 2116 Western Avenue, is the where the well-known Davidson Handbuilt Bicycles are built. It doubles as a bike repair and bike retail shop.

Other shops to check out:

  • Veloce Velo, 2750 77th Ave. SE on Mercer Island
  • Bike So Good, 6107 13th Ave. South

One Last Tip

Let's hope your cycling in Seattle is without incident. But if you run into trouble, John Duggan is an avid cyclist who doubles as a lawyer that represents injured bicyclists in and around Seattle. His phone number is (206) 343-1888.

More: Packing Tips for Traveling With a Bike

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About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood is an editor for He enjoys a good ride and loves participating in endurance events throughout the year. Follow him on Google+.
Ryan Wood is an editor for He enjoys a good ride and loves participating in endurance events throughout the year. Follow him on Google+.

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