Against the wind - Picking up bicycling ahead of the viaduct closure and the Seattle Squeeze

By Bart Treece

It's cold. It's darkish outside. It's often rainy and rainy. This is my fact as a motorcycle commuter throughout the winter months within the Pacific Northwest. There are days whilst it be extra of a psychological subject to get out the door because of the conditions, but whilst I end my trip, I'm blissful I did it!

With the prolonged closure of State Route 99 in Seattle delivery Friday night, Jan. 11, getting round city goes to be hard – now not simply for the three-week closure, but for a few years because of construction and adjustments round city throughout the Seattle Squeeze. To preserve the regional transportation gadget moving, we want people to assist us out by making other options to how and whilst they journey because, well, everything is connected. Although incorporating bicycling into your commuting repertoire can appear slightly daunting this time of year, kick-starting a brand new wholesome behavior may assist you energy by capacity of hard visitors for years to come.

It will be done. Some riders from West Seattle lately took a spin and posted a video to present the way it works.

Want to strive it out? Here are a few suggestions to get you going.

Where the rubber meets the highway – Making certain your wheels are in nice shape

There are a few other bikes for a few other purposes. Don't fear about having a highway motorbike vs. an off-road bike, vs. a gravel bike, etc. You simply desire it to be in respectable condition in your usual route. A experience to your native vicinity motorbike store can assist you check what, if any, work is wanted for a risk-free ride. Unless you recognize the way to switch a flat (it takes a few practice), recognize the place the transit routes are and hold an ORCA card. If you have got now not loaded a motorcycle onto a bus, this is a nifty video that exhibits you how.

Gearing up

As the saying goes, "There's no such factor as bad weather, only bad clothes." The fact is which you simply do now not need fancy new bicycling gear to get on a bike. You do ought to be comfortable. That capacity the rain or ski gear that you've got now will perhaps be simply powerful at the highway – simply what you positioned on to stroll the puppy on a misty day.

Visibility is "in"

Always matter to suppose about visibility and line of sight for the driver whose process it be to make certain they depart correct passing house or cease in time. Can you spot the driver coming? Can they see you? That capacity vivid white headlights up entrance and red ones within the rear. Research tells us that in all probability possibly the foremost excellent use of lighting or reflectivity on your apparel is to make use of "biomotion" — positioned these reflective strips or lights at knees and ankles. The action of your toes and legs transferring resembles strolling and is extra reflexively known as human stream by the mind of the driver. Reflective strips at the moment are constructed into a few outerwear, but extra is better. This fall, I began utilizing the reflective working vest I picked up for Hood to Coast. It's quite low-priced and provides extra visibility on darkish rides.

It ought to move with out saying, but price repeating, use hand indications (pdf 2 mb) for turning and stopping. Be predictable! Good communications at the highway improves security for everyone.
Left: Riding a bike for your commute takes some planning and getting used to, but can be a great option to avoid traffic, especially during the SR 99 closure. Right: Being comfortable and having a bike
in good working order are two keys to a good bike commute.

Getting around when the Viaduct closes and the new tunnel opens
A widespread query we have been asked: "How will of us motorcycle alongside Alaskan Way whilst the viaduct is closed?" The reply is, a lot like they do now. The route has replaced moderately alongside the waterfront, but it's going to now not be affected throughout the three-week closure of SR 99. Outside of unique occasions just like the Tunnel Ride, it's going to be closed to bicyclists. Later this 12 months throughout demolition, there would possibly be marked detours at the route.

How cycling grew to become my go-to choice

Looking back, selecting up bicycling as a commute choice was sluggish for me. It was February 2011. I first tried someday a week, then two, then three, then I needed to see what number of days in a row I might maintain it up. The difficult hills eventually got a bit of easier. The extra I did it, the extra trust I needed to deal with longer distances for equally commuting and for fun. Sure, the climate is higher in May, but with a couple of months of standard riding, the spring and summer time grew to become a welcome reward.


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