Hi there everyone.
Well, to introduce myself, I'm an overweight guy (technically obese BMI 30.9, but I don't feel obese) who loves to ride bicycles (well, if I didn't, I sure wouldn't be on bikeforums )
While I currently reside in the middle of Orange County, CA, I'm planning on moving up north to Washington State over the summer. I have an uncle who's nice enough to let me crash at his place while I go job hunting up there. Actually, I've lots of family up there...almost everyone from my Mom's side (14 of her brothers and sisters, both her parents, more of my cousins than I can keep track of, etc.); they're all spread out in places like Renton, Bellevue (especially), Newcastle, Ballard, and in a suburban part of Seattle proper. So I've been around a bit already, and know what to expect in terms of weather.
Ever since I started liking bicycling again, my interest in car driving made a rapid dive. I don't mean to post this as a car-free rant, either, so I apologize in advance if it offends anyone here. But, what I'm getting at is: I'm thinking of selling my car, and then using the money to buy myself a bike (more like 2 or 3) for commuting (including locks, lights, fenders, rack, bags, repair tools, etc.) and recreational riding up in Seattle. I decided to junk my current bike after it broke 6 spokes (simultaneously) on the rear wheel; it's one of those old 10-speeds with 27-inch steel wheels from the '70's, except this was a no-name "SR" instead of a classic/vintage machine. It suffered a whole host of mechanical problems before that, but I'm rambling again, so I'll get back on-topic.
My thread title came from the fact that my mother, who's lived in Seattle for far longer than I have, insists that it isn't a bike-friendly city at all, not as much as Orange County, she claims, because "I have NEVER seen a bicycle rider in Seattle. Not even in Downtown!"
When I found things on the internet to refute this assertion (such as a Seattle Government website), Mom went a step further and said, "It's only considered bike-friendly because of all the MUP's that the city has erected for recreational cyclists."
No matter what I tried to present, she kept using that as a fallback argument. She claims that "ALL of the avid bicycle riders in Seattle are mountain bikers. No one rides their bikes on the road except for the really poor immigrants commuting to work."
"Seattle is a horrible place to ride your bicycle! There are places where the roads turn into dirt and gravel paths! The traffic in the city is heavy and congested! The street lanes are narrow! And it rains a lot!"
As you can all tell, I am highly skeptical of my mother's assertions. Okay, that last bit might be true, but dirt/gravel? Isn't that what mountain bikes are for? And rain? I guess she doesn't know about fenders and mudflaps? Still, I'd like to know just how friendly the Puget Sound region is, exactly, for cyclists? I already know that what my Mom's saying to discourage me is a load of baloney, but I'm curious, seeing as how much of my road cycling experience has been based on suburban roads in generally cyclist-unfriendly areas.
Oh, and for the record, she doesn't know that I'm planning on selling my car yet. She just hates that I like to ride fast and far, and tries to steer me towards getting a gym membership instead if I want to get my AEROBIC exercise in Seattle. You know, because it rains a lot