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Bike to Work Day is a glimpse into Seattle’s cycling future + Map of Commute Stations

971847_10151473509944081_403766526_nFriday is Bike to Work Day, which is basically a holiday where, for one morning, we have a chance to glimpse a few years into the future to experience what it will be like with even more people biking to work every day.

There will be Commute Stations set up all over the city (see map below), some staffed by Cascade and others independently organized. Each will be different, but expect lots of free granola bars, coffee and encouraging smiles.

The centerpiece event of the day is a morning ride from KEXP’s Dexter and Denny studio to City Hall for a rally. The ride leaves KEXP at 7:45 a.m., and the rally starts at City Hall at 8.

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There will also be an after party at Velo Bike Shop’s new location in the Via6 building at 6th and Blanchard. Then there’s an after-after party at Peddler’s Brewing in Ballard, where from 5–10 p.m., anyone who shows up on a bike will get a half-price pint.

You can apparently also get a free coffee from Starbucks all day long. Just show then you got there by bike.

More details from Cascade:

Via6_B2W_Facebook_r1Ride to Seattle City Hall with Mayor McGinn!

Friday, May 17, 7:30 a.m.
KEXP studios, 113 Dexter Ave N
7:45 – 8 a.m. ride
8 – 8:15 a.m. rally

Kick off F5 Bike to Work Day by riding to Seattle City Hall with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and other elected officials. Stay tuned for a starting location. We’ll roll out from KEXP at 7:45 a.m. and cruise to the F5 Bike to Work Day commute station and rally at City Hall for a brief but inspiring program.

After the rally, pick up some free swag, coffee, Seattle bike maps, and information about local bicycle advocacy efforts at City Hall.

Join us to thank our bike-friendly leaders, celebrate Seattle’s success, and rally for an ever-better bike-friendly future.

Map of planned Commute Stations:

View Bike Month Activities & Bike to Work Day Stations in a larger map

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19 responses to “Bike to Work Day is a glimpse into Seattle’s cycling future + Map of Commute Stations”

  1. […] Bike Blog calls the day “a glimpse into Seattle’s cycling future” […]

  2. AevP

    Hmmm…no “Helmet Head Remediation Stations” or shower facilities? Huge oversight – one of the most frustrating aspects of biking to work for women, especially if you are expected to look professional, is a lack of shower/dressing facilities at the employment site. Getting ready for work out of a bathroom sink is NOT the way to start ones day. Been there, done that – never again.

    All the free pastries and coffee in the world won’t fix that.

    And THAT is why the demographics of bike commuters leans towards men.

    1. david hamm

      Bike a little slower.
      I work in an office, do my best to appear presentable and I don’t shower upon arriving, no different than if I had walked from the bus.

      1. It’s not quite that simple. Men have far more options in mainstream hairstyles that are helmet-resistant than women do. Also we tend to get more leeway on having messy hair. There certainly are helmet-resistant hairstyles that are mainstream for women in Seattle, but it takes a certain level of commitment to cycling to change style completely for it.

        I don’t have the numbers in front of me but my impression is that most countries with more women biking have widespread helmetless riding and bike facilities that make this practical.

      2. A

        Yah, as a guy who rides with helmet everyday with nicer hair than 99/100 Seattle women, the hairdo excuse comes across as a bit lazy..

      3. Ramona

        1) I’m for helmets/riding to work/and dealing with lifestyle changes and I am insanely stoked about my workplace locker room.
        2) pics or you’re hair isn’t that great.

        but seriously A:

        You don’t have more difficult to do hair than 99/100 Seattle ladies and you Probably don’t have to deal with the same level of costume change the average office lady does between bike and work.

    2. Gary

      Totally get this. A shower at work is key for my commute as well, even as a guy, the hour the bike makes it essential.

    3. amy

      I can’t think of a better way to start my day than a bike ride to work. Sure, it’s not super fun to “get ready in a sink”, but the way a good morning ride makes me feel is 100% worth being uncomfortable for a few minutes. YMMV.

      My work does not have showers, and I’m a bit sweaty when I get there but I just mop up with sport wipes, change clothes, and put my hair up when I arrive (in a bun or a wide headband) and it works fine. 45 minutes riding, 15 minutes in the bathroom (it probably took me closer to 20-25 minutes to do the presto-chango at first, but with practice comes efficiency) = net win for me.

      People still actually choose to sit next to me at meetings so I can’t be that unappealing to my coworkers. ;) And on days I ride I find I show up happier and more alert and feeling more proactive.

    4. Chris

      You are out of excuses, ;) Look into the ViaBike Cycle Club! Located at 6th and Blanchard, they have bike storage, showers, locker rooms, and towel service. 2151 6th Ave. ViaBikeSeattle.com

      1. Chris

        It is where the afterparty is, go check it out.

  3. Andrew Taylor

    You can get many people to ride to work on a sunny day in May, but (let’s be honest) Seattle is not like that 8 months of the year.

    We need ANOTHER bike to work day in (say) mid-November on a blowy, drizzly day. Year-round commuters could demonstrate how they ride safely on blowy days with limited visibility, how they stay dry, how they get dry and presentable when they get to work.

    Unless we can get buy-in from “fair weather” cyclists, the NW will still need the same level of non-cycling commuter infrastructure (buses, trains, parking places) and there will be no net saving to the community.

    All of the above is made abundantly clear by looking at the occupancy of the bike-racks here at work at the Hutch (and we do have showers and drying cabinets).

    1. Seattle tends to have more traffic (and more parking demand in many places, to a really surprising degree) during the summer (especially on nice days) than the winter. Reducing summer driving, or even just driving on nice days, really does cut into peak-of-peak driving demand.

      One of my theories about people’s willingness to bike is that there are a lot of factors that may work against it, and the more that apply the more likely they won’t do it. A large number of people are willing to bike a short distance on a nice day on a flat route without scary traffic. Up the distance, foul the weather, turn day to night, throw in some hills, add more traffic, and in each case people drop off. In Seattle many people have long commutes and the only available routes feature steep hills and heavy traffic — some of these people will ride when the weather is nice and it’s light out and most of those will drop off otherwise. If we encourage land use patterns that allow short commutes, if we build routes that are comfortable at night, we allow more people to ride more often.

  4. industrialbiker

    Amsterdam gets approximately the same rainfall amount (36 inches) per year and less sunshine (1500 hours versus 2100 in Seattle), yet Seattle has a bicycle mode share of 3.5% while Amsterdam is 38%. Rainfall and hills are the obvious guess, but you’ll have to study the issue a little more to find the real reasons more people don’t bike in Seattle.

    1. You’ve invited the commentary of this Seattle transplant to Amsterdam.

      Amsterdam’s weather is worse than Seattle for riding mush of the year. It gets colder and windy in winter, and the rain is real rain, not Seattle’s agressive fog.

      At least coming from Capitol Hill, Amsterdam feels similar in density and compactness, if you ignore King County sprawl.

      But Amsterdam has no hills and far fewer streets where cars can drive fast. And here, “fast” is 30 km/h, or less than 20 mph. And there are plentiful separated bike lanes, no helmet law, and a culture where children learn to ride safely in school and every driver is likely a rider themself.

      Most importantly, it doesn’t even occur to people here to abdicate responsibility when they become a “driver”. When behind the wheel, they understand themselves as humans who are wielding a dangerous machine around vulnerable others. And even fresh immigrants know the law sees it that way.

      It all seems so natural, built on a collectivist mindset. I still believe Seattle can (must!) get there, but her path is going to be different.

      1. Ramona

        The ridiculous hills/mountain climbing and dangerous traffic are the main deterrents that I hear about. Then comes the length of commute/time constraints, a lot of families live further out because it’s very expensive to live in city, and they are on a tight pick up schedule with the kids. After that comes the change in lifestyle/different routines/appearance deterrents.

        Honestly the #1 deterrent I hear about is fear of traffic, and it’s warranted – this city is full of blind-turning, door opening anti-cyclist (I’ve been in cars with them) densely pack traffic, along with blind corners and hills and not enough on-street bike lanes. In the last three weeks I’ve almost been smashed between a turning and parked car 3 times and almost doored once, and I am a VERY law abiding/cautious rider.

        the most common comment I get when I say I’m a bike commuter is “wow, you’re brave!”

        that seems sad to me that I have to be BRAVE just to ride my bike.

  5. Chris Langford

    I appreciate the efforts of the Cascade Bike Club to promote Bike to Work day, but I don’t live in Seattle. It would be nice if they recognized people who lived in South King County. No parties down here. Luckily some independent volunteers manned a Commuter Station in Auburn last year.

    1. Sarah

      Excellent of you to volunteer to get South King County recognized!
      Sign up at Cascade’s site: http://www.cascade.org/About/Volunteer.cfm There are many opportunities for you to get involved. Cascade even has training workshops for folks like you who want to take on community leadership challenges.

      I look forward to seeing you getting South King County involved in bike to work day next year, ride on!

  6. online irritant

    The last time I participated in Bike-to-Work Day I ended up being cited for not wearing a helmet spoiling what had been, up to that point, a very nice 21-mile ride.
    I understand I was one of two cyclists ticketed that day in 2010. I still wince when I think of that $101 citation.

  7. Kathy

    Bike + bus in work clothes for all or part of the to-work/school commute, change to your biking clothes for the commute home. Did this for many years, it works like a charm. Of course you will have to debark the bus to get your am goodies on BTW day. This old retired woman takes exception to the sexist comments that women have to look better than men on the job. It’s like a time warp and were back in the 60’s again.

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