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Cascade’s newest ride will travel on the 520 Bridge, I-5 Express Lanes

See interactive route map via Cascade's Ride With GPS page.
See interactive route map via Cascade’s Ride With GPS page.

Emerald City Bike Ride_2016EventArt_RGB_-08The secret (or maybe not-so-secret) route for Cascade’s newest major ride has been officially revealed: People registered for the April 3 event will get the rare chance to bike on both the 520 Bridge and the I-5 Express Lanes through the heart of Seattle before looping lack to along Lake Washington.

The ride was announced as part of two days of celebrations on the 520 Bridge in early April. There will also be a fun run and walk April 2, along with other to-be-announced opening celebrations. The new 520 Bridge will be the world’s longest floating bridge, but the Seattle connections will remain incomplete for several years. This includes the biking and walking trail, unfortunately.

So the April 3 ride may be the only chance for years to bike onto the bridge from Seattle. And it will certainly be among the few times you’ll get to bike on the I-5 Express Lanes (unless, of course, WSDOT takes me up on my I-5 Express Trail concept. Call me!).

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There are 6,000 spaces available for Cascade’s Emerald City Bike Ride, and registration opened today. The full ride is $30 for members or $50 for the general public.

If all 6,000 spots are filled (and I anticipate they will be), this will become the club’s second biggest ride behind the 10,000-rider Seattle to Portland.

The ride’s 520 and I-5 segments will be in the morning on a Sunday, and riders will have to be finished with 520 by 9:30 a.m. and off the I-5 Express Lanes by 10:15 a.m. But this is a pretty good excuse to wake up early.

And as Seattle Transit Blog writer and Pedal Anywhere owner Zach Shaner pointed out on Twitter, you’ll be able to take light rail to the UW start line. How cool is that?

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20 responses to “Cascade’s newest ride will travel on the 520 Bridge, I-5 Express Lanes”

  1. I was about to lament having to go to UW to start, but there’s an Eastside start as well!!!

  2. Jake F.

    This sounds fun. Any chance for some additional fact-checking? Is it only possible to ride on the 520 bridge if we pay a fee? Mike Lindblom’s article called it a “public bicycle ride.” Can we access the bridge for free over opening weekend without doing the bike ride or run?

    How much of the rest of the course is open to cars? Cascade says “most” of the route will be closed to cars traveling the same direction. As a father considering riding this event with my family, I would like to know where it is not closed to car traffic so I can determine how appropriate it is for us. Thanks.

    1. Gary

      Cascade is not “renting” the bridge, so you can ride the bridge for free. However giving them money to pay for logistics is the right thing to do.

    2. jt

      Anyone know more details about how much of the route will be closed to cars? It advertises being for families and more casual riders, but the route includes some death-defying streets like a very long stretch of Lake Washington Boulevard. I’d love to ride that without cars but certainly not if cars are going in the same direction as the ride.

  3. Ben L

    The signup process was prettt-ty awkward for me, basically I clicked on the above link and declined the jersey or shorts but it kept giving me an error and saying my basket was empty while it put one entry in my basket. Hopefully others can avoid that issue and we can have a sweet ride!

    1. ZeGerman

      Yeah, I had the same experience, but eventually it worked. And… Did anyone see where to specify that you are a member when registering to get the lower registration price?

  4. sb

    I’ve never been on a Cascade ride. Will I feel out of place if I’m just a “regular” rider going for a leisurely 20-mile ride (as opposed to some lycra and pedal clip person trying to keep a fast pace)?

    1. AW

      Yes, you will be fine. All kinds of people do the rides and given that it is only 20mi, I don’t think it will attract the hardcore riders. I suggest you start at the back of the pack and let the faster riders pass and enjoy the ride.

      1. sb

        Ok, thanks for the info. I signed up!

    2. Lisa

      You will totally not be out of place!! Cascade has been stepping up their game at welcoming all types of riders by offering more awesome city rides (like bike and brews, and the night ride), in addition to their classic “sporty” rides.

  5. ODB

    I live along the route, so naturally I was curious as to whether my street will be closed. Unfortunately, this information does not seem to be provided. The ride’s “Route” page says some streets will be “entirely closed to vehicle traffic and open to riders for a set period of time,” but “most of the route roads will be closed to vehicle traffic in cyclists’ direction of travel (but open to vehicles traveling in the opposite direction).” I find it surprising that apart from I-5 and 520 there are no details as to which streets will be closed and when. It would be nice to know if and when I will be unable to drive to and from my house.

    1. jay

      From the “ride details” page at Cascade:
      “12:30 p.m. End of ride and all route support ends”
      It is on a Sunday, just sleep in a bit and have a relaxed brunch at home and you should be fine. Maybe not so much if you want to go out for brunch, or to church, but in the latter case; Matthew 5:39
      Also probably be best not to take light rail, if even 1% of 6000 people take their bikes on the train I imagine it’s going to be crowded.

      1. ODB

        Hello? People work on Sunday. People go to the airport on Sunday. People make plans to go skiing or hiking or whatever on Sunday. But you’re saying it’s too much to ask Cascade–when it takes over public rights of way all over the city–for information as to whether or not these things will be affected by street closures. Cascade obviously has a plan for what streets will be closed and when, or if it doesn’t it’s completely incompetent. Why don’t they take the trouble to make this information public? It seems like the least they could do.

      2. jay

        I was kind of joking, sure some people work Sundays, some people work swing shift and 8:00AM is a crazy time to be riding a bike (so I won’t be there) some people earn minimum wage, for whom half a days wages for a 2 hour bike ride is a bit extreme. Not to mention those that hit the trifecta.

        It is still 2 1/2 months till the event, I am not at all sure that Cascade does have a _detailed_ plan of the closures yet, no doubt there will be more information later.
        You may think that incompetent, but note that if you are going to the airport on April 3 you will not be going thru the 99 tunnel, it has been said that the 520 bridge was scheduled to open in late 2014. Also, from WSDOT’s site: “WSDOT is planning a variety of other fun, family-oriented activities for the bridge’s grand opening. Those activities will be announced in coming weeks ” note the future tense.

        As long as I’m quoting WSDOT: “Participants in the fun run/walk or the bicycle ride must register in advance” so, Gary, above, [citation needed]; and while supporting Cascade may well be the “right thing to do” if you are bringing your CF bike to the event on the back of your Lexus, the previously mentioned minimum wage worker might not entirely agree with that sentiment.

  6. Jim

    Having a hard time getting excited about riding on I5. Doesn’t sound like I am the target audience for this one…

  7. John O.

    WSDOT turned the I-5 Express Lanes over to bicycles for Bicycle Sunday a few times in the late 70s. It’s a surreal experience, and should not be missed. What struck me the most is regardless of how fast I rode it felt like I was barely moving. Wide lanes and gradual curves have the same affect on perceived speed on a bike as they do in a car. Plus we are all used to doing 60 mph on I-5, so it felt really odd to be going 15.

  8. Nickolas Hein

    Since the bike lane across 520 won’t be open for ? years, who can I talk to about riding ALL Metro/ST buses across for free until then. This is a public thoroughfare paid for by property and sales taxes of ALL of the public, it should be free to all the public and not just the ones in cars. I’ve been asking for this for 2 years and have been getting stonewalled. I don’t ask Metro to give away anything for free, the DOT should pay them to provide it. How do I get results, or where can I find allies? Thank you.

  9. ZeGerman

    Aaaand now the Cascade registration site has crashed. Must be a lot of people trying to register all at the same time.

    1. Cascade.org was down for a few minutes around 11am for scheduled maintenance. Emerald City Bike Ride is ready for registration! http://www.cascade.org/emeraldcity

  10. […] of the 520 festivities will include a once-in-a-lifetime ride with the Cascade Bicycle Club. Reminder: You’ll have another opportunity to celebrate the new […]

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