Monday, November 30, 2009

Bikery and Other Links

I just found out about The Bikery and couldn't be more excited. The Bikery is a non-profit organization that promotes and advocates for biking in Seattle - providing the use of tools at low costs, free (suggested donation) workshops and education, as well as work trade programs. I'll be heading to their Basic Bike Maintenance class on December 27 from noon to 2.

They also have a great link and resources page here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seattle D.I.Y.

Some of the best routes in Seattle can be found on page 4 of this PDF by Seattle D.I.Y. - the rest is a good read too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Sweat Factor

Topography and geography always comes up as a justification for Seattle's slow move to having a true bike culture. It's not Portland or better, it's not Copenhagen, we have steep climbs that sometimes extend for blocks. It makes a casual, easy ride seem impossible; never mind the idea of riding into work in a skirt and heels.

First, having a lighter bike with 5+ gears is a great start. I also found that having a basket or panniers takes the weight off of your back, making the ride easier.

Second, know your route and avoid huge climbs. The City of Seattle has a list of the highest elevations here. Some of the rides I've found to be the easiest to get from point a to point b are below.
  • The Burke Gilman will get you back and forth from Ballard, Fremont, Gas Works, and University District.
  • The Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop will be you between Eastlake, South Lake Union and Fremont.
  • Stone Way is a  slow and steady climb to get from Gas Works to Wallingford.
  • Getting from Downtown to Capitol Hill is easiest via Pine or Pike.
  • Getting from Fremont to Downtown is easiest via Westlake or Dexter.
Finally, know the bus schedule. Now that the weather is colder and I'm not using my bike home as a workout - I've started to the 8 to get up Denny from the gym. If you become familiar with times and routes, it's makes those hills pretty easy. Check here to see how to load your bike.

image via ninjatira.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Velo Routes - Elevation Feature

A coworker sent me the Velo Routes link yesterday; letting me know that they've added an elevation feature. I mapped my commute home and discovered that I'm completing a 400 foot hike on my rides home.

Choose Create A Route from the left sidebar to start. Once there, you'll want to enter your start address or double click to get in closer. Left click on your starting point, then continue doing the same to mark your path. Once completed you can either save your route, export it, or create an elevation image (similar to that above, my ride in to work, a must easier ride).