Your commute can be fun! Studies show people who bike and walk express the highest satisfaction with their commutes. Here at Commute Seattle, we believe biking is for anyone! No matter your gender, size, experience, or level of fitness. We’re here to help you get rolling. Read on for our steps for success (& list of resources at the bottom):
1. Recognize that changing your routine can be hard
- Be realistic about how far you will be willing to bike – consider using transit to help reduce the distance of your commute. All buses in Puget Sound have bike racks on the front (video).
- You can also take your bike directly onto the Link Light Rail.
- To start out, consider taking transit to work and just biking home!
- Do a test ride into the office rather than biking in for the first time before a big meeting.
- Find a buddy or mentor to ride with (ask around at work or in your neighborhood – a facebook group, buy nothing, at the bike shop)
2. Prepare or choose a bike!
- Do a quick “ABC Quick Check” before you ride.
- Alternatively, use this handy map to find a local bike shop to make sure your bike is safe and ready to ride.
- Looking to get a new bike? Check out REI’s how to choose a bike article.
- Open to getting a used bike? Recycled Cycles, Bike Works, The Bikery, Velo Bike Shop, and Craigslist are great places to look.
3. Safety refresher
Safety is the top priority!
- Communicate with drivers and other people on the road by making eye contact and signaling (point left or right tell other road users where you are going).
- When you are turning and changing lanes:
- Look back over your shoulder.
- When turning, you can position yourself in the middle of the lane
- Don’t feel comfortable? Use the Copenhagen Left
- Watch this fun and informative video to help you prepare for biking around town.
4. Practice to gain confidence
- Observation – practice looking to your right and left while riding.
- Practice looking over your shoulder – knowing what’s actually behind you will help you to feel comfortable while riding.
- Turning – practice turning confidently to avoid objects or make a turn while riding at speed.
- Riding with one hand – lift one hand at a time off the handlebars and repeat until you can control your bike with either hand. Watch this short video to learn about signaling with your hands.
5. Navigating Seattle
Google Maps and Apple Maps both have biking layers (Google, Apple) you can use to find bike routes.
You can use these maps hand in hand with the following resources:
- Seattle By Bike: Your guide to bicycling around the city
- SDOT Bike Map Online
- SDOT Center City Bike Network
- King County Regional Trail Finder Map
- Neighborhood Greenways and Stay Healthy Streets
- WSDOT’s US Bike Routes Page
- Virginia Tech Bicycle Helmet Ratings Resource
- Wirecutter’s 2022 The Best Bike Lock review
- Marley Blonsky – All Bodies on Bikes: Inclusive Bike Clothing Recommendations
Bike buying, preparation:
Safety, routes, navigating:
- Find a Neighborhood Greenway
- SDOT’s Interactive Bike Map
- SDOT Stay Healthy Streets
- Seattle Bike Blog’s Route Videos
- How To Pass Safely Video
- How to Bike in the City Video
- How to Signal Video
- Bicycle Laws
- Commute Seattle’s Bike (Back) To Work Webinar
Local discounts for riding:
- Seattle Bicycle Benefits (discounts for biking to local businesses)
Register your bike: