It’s like a gift shop, a local bike products showcase, a bicycle information stand and a statewide bicycle tourism bureau all in one.
Washington Bikes (formerly the Bicycle Alliance of Washington) has opened a shop in its Pioneer Square headquarters (1st and Jackson), just in time for late holiday shopping.
The statewide bike advocacy non-profit is now searching for volunteers to help staff the shop. They are also looking to stock locally-made stuff, so if you make bike-related products, get in touch.
The shop is open Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The site of the office in Seattle gives us a unique opportunity, located as we are just a few blocks from King Street Station in the heart of Pioneer Square. Hundreds of thousands of people pass our door each year bent on travel, shopping, exploration of historic Seattle, and the many sports events that bring Sounders, Seahawks, and Mariners fans down our street.
We hope to take advantage of the location to accomplish several elements of our mission.
1) Increase the number of people who support our work directly with their dues. Members will receive a 10% discount on purchases on the store and dues, as always, are tax-deductible. People stopping in to shop will be invited to join and get the discount on the spot.
2) Spread the word about bike travel/tourism in Washington state. We already distribute bike maps from all over the state. We’ll sell guidebooks—including our own Cycling Sojourner Washington, coming out spring 2014—and answer questions to help people plan great bike trips.
If you’re arriving by Amtrak or taking light rail into downtown from SeaTac, we can be your first stop in town to get rolling with a Seattle bike map and much more.
3) Share expertise with people interested in learning more about bicycling. We’re a bike knowledge hub—a great place to ask about upcoming rides in the area and around the state, pick up a copy of our pocket guide to Washington state bike law, get advice on lane positioning or whatever else you’ve been wondering about from our 3 League-Certified Instructors (Josh, Seth, and Jack)—you name it and if we don’t know it now, we’ll research it.
4) Increase the unrestricted revenues we need to accomplish our mission while we make bicycling ever more visible. The store’s mix will fill a distinct niche, not competing with the supplies, gear, services, and custom frames of Seattle-area bike shops or with the great bike-friendly fashion available at Hub and Bespoke in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. People looking for a gift for a biking friend will find what they need, from posters and notecards to books, jewelry, and art. We regularly have tourists stop in to ask if we sell “bike souvenirs of Washington” and now the answer will be yes.
We also want to showcase great Washington bike businesses. Bicycling supports a larger sector of the state’s economy than many people realize and we can put that on parade with future exhibits and information.