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Seattle Bike Expo this weekend: What’s there (and how to get there)

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It’s Seattle Bike Expo weekend, presented by Cascade Bicycle Club. Bike folks from all over will descend on Smith Cove Cruise Terminal 91 Saturday and Sunday for the annual massive bike trade show packed with speakers, demonstrations, high performance gelatin shot samples and bikes you can’t afford (see our coverage from last year).

But first, the biggest question we get every year about the Bike Expo is: What is a “Smith Cove,” and how the hell do I get there?

Well, to the right you will find a handy map showing you how. If you are coming from the north, it’s pretty straight forward (assuming you know how to get to the Elliott Bay Trail from 20th Ave W. Hint: Turn left where it says “Dead End.” What’s so confusing about that?).

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If you’re coming from the south, you’ll actually be able to see the cruise terminal, but still have three miles to bike before you get there. Luckily, it’s a fairly nice ride and people will be stationed along the way to help you find the way along the trail, through the parking lot, past the terminal workers who yell at you for “biking on the street,” through the Shrine of the Silver Monkey, and finally to the Bike Works-staffed bike parking coral. I would not suggest taking transit unless you are in the mood for a very long walk.

Whew. So now you’re in the Expo. What’s there to do?

Tons. There are talks about family biking, bike touring and racing, mountain bike and BMX demos, and a multi-floor trade show featuring local, national and global companies.

But the event that will undoubtedly steal the spotlight at the Expo is Sunday at 1:15 p.m. when yours truly will make my world debut as a panel moderator discussing “How Seattle bicycle advocates, City staff and elected officials work together to complete projects.” I will be joined by Cascade’s Craig Benjamin, City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, SDOT’s Kevin O’Neil and West Seattle Bike Connections’ Don Brubeck, and we will discuss how all these different parts of the city (small and large advocacy efforts, the city, the media and politics) work together (or don’t) to make the city better for cycling (or not).

It’ll be a barn burner that I hope ends in a performance gel, energy bar and protein shake food fight.

Be sure to check out the full schedules for Saturday and Sunday. Cost of entry is $10/day or $12 for the weekend.

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4 responses to “Seattle Bike Expo this weekend: What’s there (and how to get there)”

  1. Your notes getting to the place are hilarious. It always helps to work with hilarious subject matter… even so, well done.

    I don’t remember if there’s anything in the BMP about fixing the tortuous bike routes in this area. Well worth doing.

  2. This is an awesome event. I’d say close to Interbike. I’ll be cargo-biking from West Seattle on Sunday, meeting under the WS bridge ~9:15am. My fiancée as and I went last year…good times!


  3. merlin

    From East Capitol Hill, I like to go to Interlaken, cross the University Bridge to the Burke-Gilman, ride to Fremont so I can be counted on the bike counter, then take the Ship Canal Trail east from the Fremont Bridge under the Ballard Bridge, pass Fisherman’s terminal and then it’s a more or less straight shot to Smith Cove. This route is admittedly about 5 miles out of my way but it’s a kick. On Saturday, I’ll meet up with Critical Lass at Hub and Bespoke in Fremont at 11 and ride with them to the fashion show at Bike Expo.

  4. Andreas

    Not sure why we’d want to exaggerate the difficulty of getting to the site.

    Regarding the 20th Ave dead-end, it’s been about 3 years now since SDOT added several signs that make it quite plain that there’s a bike trail down that road. And as for transit, as Cascade points out in their directions, it’s a whopping 1/2 mile walk from the 19/24/33 bus stop on the Magnolia Bridge to the Expo building. (Cascade directs folks to cross the street “very carefully” to get to the stairway to the gatehouse, but I’m pretty sure there’s a matching stairway on the north side of the bridge, at the east end of the Anthony’s loading dock about 20 feet from the bus stop—so there’s no reason to risk that crossing.)

    Now, if you take the 32 or the D to the Galer stop on Elliott Ave, that’ll probably add another 10 minutes to your walk. But I’d hope that for most people going to a biking expo even a whole mile doesn’t count as “a very long walk”.

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