With the this week’s Viaduct closure, many folks may be looking for ways to alter their commute, beat the traffic, and make the road restrictions less painful. Below is some motivation to try using your bike for commuting or recreation during the closure period-the top ten activities that are either more fun, easier, or both more fun AND easier to do while using a bicycle instead of a car for transportation. Happy Riding!
10. Getting Downtown: In Seattle, we are lucky that downtown is pretty much at the bottom of all the hills ever, so even if you have a long hilly commute, you’ll get a nice breeze before your arrival! Also, how great is it not to look for/pay for/worry about parking??
9. Hanging out with your kids: Although I’m not a parent myself, I can definitely remember being a kid and being utterly and thoroughly BORED during most car rides. Instead of listening to endless drones of “are we there yet?” or trying to keep some semblance of control from the front seat, think how much more fun traveling by bike with your kids could be. You can get them exercise, teach them independence, and avoid having to listen to Radio Disney all in one go!
8. Partying: Gotta give props to the Germans here. Their Bier Bike concept is probably one of the greatest innovations of the century. No way this could happen (at least not legally) in a car!
7. Taking the ferry: One of the most unique features of Seattle is our ferry system, and what better way to maximize your enjoyment of being on a boat (hint: you will definitely look at least as cool as these guys) than by catching a ride via bike. You pay less, get to exit before everyone else, and can access some great riding areas. Cascade’s annual Kitsap Color Classic and Chilly Hilly offer just a few ideas for local cycling, all easily accessed by ferry.
6. Indulging: For some of us, this means an ice cold brew on a hot summer day, others prefer bubble baths, nice dinners out, or even watching reruns of The Bachelorette (I mean that is totally totally not me, promise….). Whatever your chosen comfort, riding a bike allows you to burn more calories (no more guilt about that second piece of pie!) save money, and appreciate your down time much more than arriving by car.
5. Having a perpetual excuse for your fashion sense: I mean really, we all make some questionable choices in the fashion department, or experience slightly less than perfect hair-dos from time to time (just be glad you’re not this kid). Riding your bike means that you will always have an excuse for looking a little ruffled, and best of all, wearing a helmet means that you will have the ultimate protection from that poor kid’s misfortune. And let’s be honest, cycle chic is the new black leopard print.
4. Making noise: Bells are just way cooler and friendlier sounding than any car horn I’ve ever heard. Well, except maybe this fellow.
3. Traveling: Just ask Willie Wier, Seattle’s resident professional travelling adventure cyclist. On a bike, you are moving at just the right speed to truly experience a new place, people are much more interested and friendly than if you are gawking from a bike seat than gawking from inside a car, AND you can follow your nose much more easily to the delicious food venue!
2. Going through puddles! (with fenders): I guess I can only speak for myself here, but the glee of splashing through a giant puddle while on a bike is about 10,0000 times more exciting than whizzing by inside a car. Just be sure you’re not biking into a pothole or other hazard. And that you won’t be splashing anyone nearby-though it is pretty much impossible to do this kind of damage on a bike.
And the Number One activity in which fun and ease can be maximized by grabbing your bike lock instead of car keys??
1. Connecting with your world: Whether it’s noticing the changing seasons, getting to visit with friends (SO much easier when you aren’t both behind glass and steel), or simply appreciating the beauty of the Northwest, the bicycle is a much more convenient venue than a car for really becoming a part of your surroundings!