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  1. #1
    Senior Member Crimsonghost's Avatar
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    Moving to seattle

    So I'm moving to Seattle next month and am looking for some rides. Im just starting to get back into cycling seriously after about 2 years off, so I'd like some things to start off kinda slow.

    I got injured, got fat, and moved someplace that's all hills that I can't climb, so my legs are still weak and I'm not sure i can really do more then 20 miles right now. It sucks trying to get back into shape!

    But if you guys have any reccomendations to help me get back into it, that would be great.


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    What part of Seattle are you moving to? You looking for rides to drive to or start from home?

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    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    Not sure what part of Seattle you are moving to. But if you are close, check out the Burke-Gilman Trail:

    http://www.seattle.gov/transportatio...ntrailmaps.htm

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    Senior Member Crimsonghost's Avatar
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    Guess i should have said where im moving.

    Im moving to the central district. MLK and Yesler would be the major x-streets. From the looks of it when i was driving around it seems i can get down to lake Washington blvd pretty easy. And that looked pretty bike friendly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenhog View Post
    What part of Seattle are you moving to? You looking for rides to drive to or start from home?
    Anything really. I dont mind driving if it means some good riding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarabelle View Post
    Not sure what part of Seattle you are moving to. But if you are close, check out the Burke-Gilman Trail:

    http://www.seattle.gov/transportatio...ntrailmaps.htm
    Thanks for that. Looks like it will go right past my new place.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Lake Wash Blvd is gorgeous. They close it to autos on Sundays, too. Ride to Seward Park, do a loop around the park, then head back over Beacon Hill until you hit the Chief Sealth Trail, and follow that until Judkins Park. Then find your way home. That will get you some great views and it's in the ballpark of 20 miles, maybe a bit over.

    Ride into downtown, go find the waterfront trail, and follow it into and across Myrtle Edwards Park. The best place to turn back or start a loop is going to depend on your mood, but that waterfront ride is one of the best in Seattle.

    Do a loop around Lake Union, make sure to go through Gas Works Park. Through the park, not nearby it. Follow the Chessahaud Loop (sp?) through Eastlake.

    Avoid the arboretum unless you want the feeling you're about to get hit. Also, Ballard really isn't a great neighborhood to ride in, despite what the drunks will tell you. Don't ride Green Lake, it's too crowded.

    The Burke Gilman Trail is hugely popular, I think it's a little overrated, but it you get here while it's still warm, take it up to 65th, turn right, and follow that into Magnuson Park, then go for a swim.

    When you're downtown, go through Freeway Park.

    Near Volunteer Park, on Cap Hill, go through the mansion section near Aloha Ave.

    There are more, but I'd have to check a map for the names of the parks you should see and the names of the roads that will get you there. After a while you start to get a feel for things and then names don't mean so much. I'd suggest riding with a map, or if you have a GPS or a smart phone with "you are here" on Google maps, bring that.

    A lot of people come to Seattle from San Francisco, it's like we're sister cities. The weather is pretty similar, they're both very hilly, etc.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    Riding over to Alki beach is also a nice ride. You can also head out east over the I90 bridge bike/walk path. You can drive down to the south center area to park then ride the green river trial. there is also the interurban trail down there but its fairly boring but runs north from Renton south to Pacific. I take the interurban south then ride through Sumner to connect with the Pioneer trail in Puyallup and hit up the Orting Bakery for a mid ride snack. You can go to the king county website click under transportation and find all the bike lanes and bike trails on King County. It's more up to date then Google maps.

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    Senior Member Crimsonghost's Avatar
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    AWESOME!! Thanks for all the sugestions guys. Looks like ill be able to do some good cycling out there. Its been rough out here. I actually moved from SF to Oakland about a year ago, and its rough. All my rides ether have me fighting with cars the whole time or, trying to climb hills that im in no shape to climb. A lot of 13% grades out here (as well as some 25%!!).

    Anyway, im really looking forward to coming to Seattle, everyone seems really friendly and the whole city is really nice. Clean also.

    Thanks again

  8. #8
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Friend of mine who lives not to far from where you are moving to (Beacon Hill) often rides the loop around Mercer Island. I accompanied him once not long ago and was pleased with it; rolling hills, but not too tough, quiet roads, nice tavern at the end of it.
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  9. #9
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
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    This is a repost but it might help:

    Sure thing:
    The major "club" around here is the Cascade Bicycle Club http://www.cascade.org/Home/ They are the primary clearing house for bicycle activism, organized group rides, major organized charity/event rides, etc. If you get on their mailing list, they send you things like how to vote to benefit cycling infrastructure, reminders about upcoming big century rides/etc.

    Some of the iconic event rides are:
    Chilly Hilly - Early season opener (Feb) on Bainbridge Island. Take the ferry from Seattle and ride the routes
    Apple Century - 2hr drive from Seattle out in the apple growing areas of Wenatchee and Leavenworth WA. Super-scenic and way better than the other event ride options that weekend.
    7Hills of Kirkland - nice route that hits 7 of the notable climbs in close to Kirkland.
    STP - Seattle To Portland (took place this past weekend). 204 miles, done in 1 or 2 days, 10,000 rider limit with tickets selling out in February with CBC members getting first crack.
    RAMROD - Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day - 154miles, 10,000ft elevation gain over basically 2 major climbs and several lesser ones. 800 Rider Limit due to National Park rules, done in a lottery. Many groups do it in smaller private events on other weekends without the hassle of the Redmond Cycling Club's lottery system
    High Pass Challenge - 114mi, 7500ft climbing, in/around Mount Saint Helens
    Kitsap Color Classic - Late September ride on Kitsap Peninsula. Take the ferry from Seattle and ride the various length routes

    Local Racing Season:
    Most of the racing is handled by the Washington State Bicycle Association ( http://www.wsbaracing.org/ ) and are USAC sanctioned. You'll need your USAC license and also a WSBA number for them. The event calendar is here: http://www.wsbaracing.org/calendar.html but can also be added as a shared calendar to your own Google Calendar view. Season opens with road racing typified by 10-20mi loops repeated as appropriate for category. It then transitions into a period of 3-event stage races in various locations like WallaWalla, Enumclaw, and Olympia. Then you have a month or two of primarily Criterium races, finally closing the season with a series of circuit races (6mi loops, repeated as necessary). Throughout all this, you have weekly Tuesday racing on a nearby motor speedway in Kent (Pacific Raceways) and weekly Thursday crits at Seward Park in Seattle. These weekly races are not USAC so no upgrade points, just glory. Mixed in are various events like the Ronde Van Palouse (6mi of gravel per 16mi lap), a few Kermesse races, etc.

    Local Racing Teams:
    There are a TON of teams in Seattle. I won't describe each for fear of sounding biased, I'll just list as many as I can think of... I also don't know the actual team name but certainly the title sponsors of most:
    Garage Racing, Cucina Fresca, Lake Washington Velo/HagensBerman, Union Bay Cycling/bikesale-ViaMotors, Apex/CycleU, KellerRohrbach, RecycledCycles, SecondAscent, JL Velo, Harriot Sports Performance, KrykiSports/Audi, Peterson Spokeswomen, etc. Also many teams in nearby areas like Tacoma, Portland, Olympia, Spokane, etc.

    Major Rail-Trails/MUPS:
    Burke-Gilman Trail - Starts at the west half of Seattle and roughly follows the ship canal through lake union before heading north towards Bothell along Lake Washington's NW shores. It feeds seamlessly into the Sammamish River Trail and is VERY heavily used by commuters and recreationists alike. Major improvements slated for the portions around UW in the coming years. Along the way, this MUP passes iconic Seattle places such as Gas Works Park, Magnuson Park, UW, etc.
    Sammamish River Trail - Starting at the end of the Burke-Gilman in Bothell, it continues around past the Redhook Brewery all the way to Marymoor Park in Redmond. There is a velodrome in Marymoor Park with regular track racing classes and series. It's open to the public when not being used by events. Many of CBC's group rides start at Marymoor Park.
    Green River Trail - don't be afraid, no serial killers here for a long time. Starts down by Boeing Field and continues all the way to Kent, along the Duwamish and Green Rivers. For a long time, it was blockaded with giant sandbags because the Army Corps of Engineers though an upstream dam would fail. The sandbags are removed and the trail continues to be improved by the cities it goes through.
    Interurban Trail - discontinuous north-south trail that exists both south and north of the city to help get between urban areas. It's generally very straight but has a lot of road crossings.
    Cedar River Trail - Starts in downtown Renton and goes SE toward Black Diamond along a gentle grade.
    East Lake Sammamish Trail - Goes from Issaquah to Redmond along the east side of Lake Sammamish. Just finished paving. I personally just ride the wide, bike-laned shoulder of East Lake Samammish Pkwy. Feeds pretty seamlessly into Marymoor Park and thus can connect easily to Sammamish River Trail and Burke Gilman Trail making for 40miles of almost continuous paved MUP.
    There are other trails to the east but I don't know them as well since I tend to just stick to roads out there. One notable unpaved trail is the John Wayne Pioneer Trail (aka Iron Horse State Park). The trail starts at Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend and follows a 1-2% railroad grade all the way up to Snoqualmie Pass where you then ride through a 2.3mi tunnel in total darkness, before continuing the rest of the way. In total, the JWPT is 300miles long and goes from Rattlesnake Lake to the Idaho border. Sections past Yakima are not yet developed though. The bit from Rattlesnake Lake to Snoqualmie Pass is 21mi and about 1600ft elevation gain. Really fun if you have a bike capable of handling this sort of trail (mostly packed doubletrack with sections of rough gravel - recommend at least 28s with reinforced sidewalls, preferably 32+ with knobbies like a CX bike).

    Notable climbs in the area:
    Juanita - from Kenmore or from Kirkland. Goes from around 30ft up to around 450ft. Kenmore side is steeper.
    Norway - from Bothell/Riverside Dr. Goes from about 40ft up to around 470ft.
    Hollywood - From Woodinville Tourist District. Goes from about 50ft up to around 550ft. Clockwise is steeper.
    Perkins - From Lake Forest Park. Goes from 40ft up to around 440. A little less elevation gained allows you a terrific low-stress hill repeat loop up 178thSt/24thAve with safe lower angle descent down Perkins.
    70th St NE- From Magnuson Park. Goes from about 60 up to 400 via straight-up-city-blocks. Rough pavement, really crappy descent. Repeat loops should be descended via another route.
    On the east side (the east side of Lake Washington), there are plenty more climbs of this magnitude but a few of particular note like Novelty Hill in Redmond and most importantly, Zoo Hill in Issaquah. Zoo Hill is easily accessed as part of a moderate length ride from Seattle and has the distinction of being the biggest climb you can do here without having to drive somewhere. From Newport Way on the west side of Issaquah, ride up SE 54th St at the sign for the Cougar Mountain Zoo. It's fairly steep. Stay on this through some switchbacks and finally the road turns right into a long straight that appears to be rolling but it's really just rolling back and forth between uphill and steeply uphill. Once you reach the top of this straight section, turn sharply left up the hill and continue, looking for a "Private Road" to the right that heads up to the radio towers. This goes from 100ft to 1450ft in under 2.8 miles, average grade 8%, several bits at 15%, one bit at 20%.

    Suggested Ride Loops:
    3 Hills - Start maybe somewhere in Kenmore and ride out to Woodinville, hitting Hollywood, then returning via Norway and Juanita.
    Lake Washington - About 52miles total, mostly safe surface streets, go either direction but clockwise is probably easiest to minimize left turns.
    South End - Lake Washington Loop, southern half only, cut short with a transit across I-90 bridge(bike path) and Mercer Island
    North End - Lake Washington Loop, northern half only, cut short like above.
    Mercer Island - No matter how you get here, riding the loop around Mercer Island (West Mercer Way and East Mercer Way) is terrific. No stoplights for about 15mi and it's all rolling and twisty with safe vehicle traffic. I prefer counterclockwise to make the twisties on the east side of the island just barely downgrade (and thus faster).
    Snohomish Loop - Lots of different ways to do this, but basically start from Bothell and head north toward Monroe and Snohomish, hitting a lot of country roads along the way.
    May Valley - Whether you make this part of a loop linking Lake Washington to Issaquah or Renton, or if you use it to link down to the Cedar River Trail, it's a great road to link up some nice loops. Mostly flat or false-flat but it gets you there.
    Zoo hill and the lakes - You can start in Seattle, head across I-90 or around the south end of LakeWash, then up Newport Way to hit ZooHill, then down lakemont and around the east side of Lake Sammamish, through Marymoor to choose your own adventure back to Seattle - long flat way around the SammRiverTrail or up over Old Redmond Way into Kirkland to link up toward Juanita back into Kenmore before heading south via surface streets or Burke Gilman Trail.

    Notable climbs within a reasonable drive:
    Hurricane Ridge (Olympic National Park) 0 to 5400'. This is just about exactly one half of haleakala, starting from sea level in Port Angeles and heading straight up to the top of the park. 17 miles, 5400ft gain, same gradient as Haleakala - 5.3%. Usually open but not accessible by bicycle in winter.
    Ashford to Paradise (Mount Rainier National Park) 1800 to 5450'. Open in winter, but no bikes once it snows. Snowpack at Paradise reaches about 200 inches depth by spring.
    Greenwater to Sunrise (Mount Rainier National Park) 1800 to 6400' - starts out low angle 1% but steadily gains then ramps up once you enter the Park. Drop down about 200ft to the White River before the main portion of the climb to Sunrise. This road is only open between the last season of June and until the first snows render it unsafe from avalanche or lack of plowing.
    Cayuse Pass - From either side, it's a good climb. I like it from the south at 2200ft on up to 4700ft. Most people experience this as part of RAMROD so they start this 5% sustained climb after they've already pedaled 100mi. Closed in winter.
    Chinook Pass - Usually done as a piggyback on a Cayuse Pass ascent. It starts at the TOP of cayuse and continues up on hwy410 to 5400ft in a couple more miles. Closed in winter.
    Mission Ridge - Starting from the sunny dry side of the mountains in Wenatchee at 750ft, heads up a valley toward the Mission Ridge ski resort at 4400ft. Very light traffic for the most part. Terrific pavement with switchbacks at the top and a sustained gradient of 6%, with the top half being almost all greater than 8%. Terrific climb.
    There are a lot more that a guy named "Seattle Forrest" posts about in the Pacific NW forums such as Blewett Pass, the North Cascades Highway, and Mount Baker. He posts nice photos and details of the climbs too.

    I hope that's not too much information but the cycling 'scene' here is really extensive. Yes, it gets cold but rarely below freezing and yes it rains a LOT from about October to May but most of us just learn to deal with it for love of riding. Things like glove/boot dryers, packable rain vests/jackets, shoe-covers, etc make it livable. From July through September, you can count on almost 0 rain and mostly sunny skies every day. Also, something you won't be used to - variable length days. In the winter, daylight may get as short as 8hrs (sunset at 4:30pm) and in the summer, you get up to 16hrs (sunset after 9pm). How you learn to deal with that will greatly affect your enjoyment of the region.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Crimsonghost's Avatar
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    Thanks for that nhluhr!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    The mention of the Chilly Hilly reminded me of riding over on Bainbridge Island. I haven't actually done the Chilly Hilly, but catching the ferry over to Bainbridge is nice, and riding over there is pleasant, but of course as the name implies, rather hilly at times. Nice view of the city from the beach about midway along the east shore of the island and there's the Bloedel Nature Preserve as a destination as well. If you are getting burned out on hills, the highway that runs down the middle of the island has mellow grades, a HUGE shoulder and leads right back to the ferry terminal.

    There should be maps of the Chilly Hilly route online, I think I combined aspects of that and used google maps with the "cycling" button on to plan my route the first time I rode over there. I have yet to explore the southwest corner of the island, as I understand that is hillier than the other parts of the island. I don't find the hills on the rest of the island bad at all, but I climb Capitol Hill every day for my commute. My girlfriend on the other hand, wasn't too happy about all the hills!
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  12. #12
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimsonghost View Post
    All my rides ether have me fighting with cars the whole time or, trying to climb hills that im in no shape to climb. A lot of 13% grades out here (as well as some 25%!!).
    Please don't think Seattle is any less hilly than San Francisco!
    Don't believe everything you think.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Crimsonghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Please don't think Seattle is any less hilly than San Francisco!
    Oh yeah, I get that. Actually I'm based out of oakland now (need to update my status ). I was actually referencing the hills out here which are just nasty!

  14. #14
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Please don't think Seattle is any less hilly than San Francisco!
    I think non of us 'Seattleites' are talking about the elephant in the room - the weather. We moved to the Seattle area from the Bay area in 2005 and without a doubt the biggest anti-cycling aspect in WA is the weather. In the Fall-Spring timeframe its not unusual to see 20+ days of rain,rain,rain in a row. Then a day or to of greyness and then another 20 days of rain. Many people will tell you to toughen up and embrace the rain bit it does get to you. Its also a good 20 degrees colder than SF in the winter.

    I'm not trying to rain on your parade, just telling you my experiences. When we moved here in November 2005, one of the first things I did was buy a North Face jacket - it was freezing. We had lived in the Bay area for a decade and all my clothes were too light. I remember dancing in the rain as we hadnt seen such rain in years. Then we realized the rain wasnt going away. We stopped dancing a few weeks later.

    At least your'e in the downtown area, and that's usually a little warmer, but Telegraph Avenue in the fall, it aint
    Last edited by JackoDandy; 07-30-13 at 10:26 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Crimsonghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    I think non of us 'Seattleites' are talking about the elephant in the room - the weather. We moved to the Seattle area from the Bay area in 2005 and without a doubt the biggest anti-cycling aspect in WA is the weather. In the Fall-Spring timeframe its not unusual to see 20+ days of rain,rain,rain in a row. Then a day or to of greyness and then another 20 days of rain. Many people will tell you to toughen up and embrace the rain bit it does get to you. Its also a good 20 degrees colder than SF in the winter.

    I'm not trying to rain on your parade, just telling you my experiences. When we moved here in November 2005, one of the first things I did was buy a North Face jacket - it was freezing. We had lived in the Bay area for a decade and all my clothes were too light. I remember dancing in the rain as we hadnt seen such rain in years. Then we realized the rain wasnt going away. We stopped dancing a few weeks later.

    At least your'e in the downtown area, and that's usually a little warmer, but Telegraph Avenue in the fall, it aint
    Personally, i dont mind riding too much in the rain. Once i manage to htfu and get out side.

    Ive been up there twice now. The first time it was nasty cold. Had to wear my big pea coat and a beanie the whole time. The second time, it was in the mid 70s. Which, oddly, was cooler then here at the time (silly heatwave). Right now im looking forward to having actual seasons, but im sure that will pass soon enough. HAHA.

    So, does it actually snow up there during the winter? I mean in Seattle? And how does the cold affect the riding? Im assuming ill be ok if i just get some thermal bibs and a decent jacket?

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimsonghost View Post
    Personally, i dont mind riding too much in the rain. Once i manage to htfu and get out side.

    Ive been up there twice now. The first time it was nasty cold. Had to wear my big pea coat and a beanie the whole time. The second time, it was in the mid 70s. Which, oddly, was cooler then here at the time (silly heatwave). Right now im looking forward to having actual seasons, but im sure that will pass soon enough. HAHA.

    So, does it actually snow up there during the winter? I mean in Seattle? And how does the cold affect the riding? Im assuming ill be ok if i just get some thermal bibs and a decent jacket?

    Thanks!
    Thats what I told myself for the first 2 years. Give it time and you will be filling your home with posters of San Francisco and playing "I left my heart in San Fransisco on your iPod"

    Seriously, good luck to you. Being downtown may be more enticing to ride in the cold. Tourists are always fun to be around and make you feel like your'e on vacation. We lived in the Napa valley area and loved the touristy feel.

    However, for me, the old adage rings true; A taste of honey is worse than non at all. Ive tasted the sweet sunshine and its hard to adjust. I now live vicariously through the CA forum members when the fall rain hits as they post sun-drenched videos of their fall-winter rides.

    As for snow, shouldn't be an issue downtown. It does get icy but nothing too bad. I wear leggings, a good jacket, thermal gloves etc. The worst weather is the freezing rain that stings your face on a descent. Ive actually temporarily lost feeling in my nose on some descents.

    Good luck to you sir!

    My typical winter ride conditions...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JackoDandy; 07-30-13 at 11:15 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member busygizmo's Avatar
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    Weather can be a deterrent 9 months out of the year unfortunately. I used to ride year-round and there were some miserably cold and soggy rides. But the weather varies greatly depending on the La Nina-El Nino cycle. There have been at least two winters I can remember when I rode 5-6 days each week all winter and hardly got wet. Part of the key was having a flexible schedule and keeping an eye on the weather radar workings rides in between systems.

    If you can find a winter sport, snowboarding is mine, the cold rain takes on a different perspective since you are thinking about fresh snow in the mountains.

    Also east of the Cascades you can get very pleasant days often as early as February and as late as October if you don't mind driving a little for a ride.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimsonghost View Post
    Personally, i dont mind riding too much in the rain. Once i manage to htfu and get out side.

    Ive been up there twice now. The first time it was nasty cold. Had to wear my big pea coat and a beanie the whole time. The second time, it was in the mid 70s. Which, oddly, was cooler then here at the time (silly heatwave). Right now im looking forward to having actual seasons, but im sure that will pass soon enough. HAHA.

    So, does it actually snow up there during the winter? I mean in Seattle? And how does the cold affect the riding? Im assuming ill be ok if i just get some thermal bibs and a decent jacket?

    Thanks!
    You guys are cracking me up! Cold? Seasons? I moved here from northern California (Sacramento area) almost twenty years ago, so I'm pretty acclimated I guess.

    Some years it doesn't snow at all, many years we get only a dusting of snow that is gone in a couple of hours or doesn't even stick at all, even though it falls for a while. Last year I bought snow tires for my mountain bike so I could ride in if it snowed and stuck for a few days or actually got icy, still haven't mounted them...Every few years or so, we'll get a couple of inches, for a couple of days, the city used to shut down when that happened and that was nice, but now they've got some plows and sanders. Often, the snow will partially thaw during the day and then freeze in the night making a pretty tricky surface, hence the studded snow tires for my commute, but we're really only talking about a handful of days, only some years. Once a few years ago it was like that for about two weeks, but that is only time it has lasted anything like that long in the twenty years I've been up here.

    As far as the rain goes: I worked two years as a messenger, now I commute 7 days a week for 9 months of the year (school+work), and I can count the number of times I've been truly soaked on one hand. The "rain" is usually a light drizzle, unless you get caught in a classic Pacific squall in the spring, and if you have some flexibility in when you leave those are pretty easy to dodge a lot of the time. Is it overcast for long periods of time? Sure. Was there technically precipitation for many days in a row? Sure. Rain all the time? Not so much. There are areas not far from Seattle that it does seem to be truly raining much of the time, but Seattle itself sits directly in the center of a convergence zone, which combined with the heat of the city seems to send all the real weather to the north or south, or the real rain dumps in the hills and mountains to the west and east.

    For a while I was thinking maybe I just got lucky with the el nino/la nina patterns, but I was car free and cycling every day for six years in a row, then ended up not cycling for a few years and am going on three years of cycling near daily, and I just don't get soaked. I feel for the people in other parts of the Pacific Northwest, it really rains in a lot of places, but not in my experience from central Seattle to Greenwood.

    When it comes to the weather you have a choice to make. Wet from the outside in, or from the inside out? I don't get fully drenched, but even a light drizzle adds up to being fairly wet over an hour long commute. I see virtually everyone else in rain pants and rain jackets on days when the forecast hinted at a chance of rain and it ends up being sunny and warm all day and I feel for them. If you are going to wear that kind of gear you are going to be drenched in sweat all the time. Personally, I prefer a mix of wool and technical fabrics. I slowly get damp from the outside, but everything breathes and I maintain a decent temperature, especially considering all the aforementioned hills that we have to climb. And on those days when it doesn't rain at all, or is the lightest of drizzles? Well, I'm wearing breathable fabrics so I'm comfortable. Keep your hands and feet dry, wear enough of the right layers and you'll be plenty warm even if you are wet.

    Frankly, I miss the rain, there's a lot less pedestrians to dodge and a lot less Cat 6 racers who don't know how to use a bell on the road when it starts threatening to rain. Besides, you feel like a badass when you ride in the rain! Get full fenders though.
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 07-30-13 at 11:52 AM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    I think we live in different Seattles .

    I remember similar discussions when I was about to move to the area. I figured how bad can it be? Its not awful but it does slowly grind you down. You start getting back into the swing of things in June and, poof, its gone....oh well.

    Admittedly, Im located on the eastside and close to Redmond, but last year we had 70 continuous days of rain. No matter how your dress it up, that's miserable biking weather. This year it stopped raining around end of June. Its been glorious weather for 4 weeks now. When the sun shines its beautiful out here but the 9 month rain season does get old.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    I think we live in different Seattles .

    I remember similar discussions when I was about to move to the area. I figured how bad can it be? Its not awful but it does slowly grind you down. You start getting back into the swing of things in June and, poof, its gone....oh well.

    Admittedly, Im located on the eastside and close to Redmond, but last year we had 70 continuous days of rain. No matter how your dress it up, that's miserable biking weather. This year it stopped raining around end of June. Its been glorious weather for 4 weeks now. When the sun shines its beautiful out here but the 9 month rain season does get old.
    We do. Redmond is a good 10 miles away, and not in Seattle at all! Seriously, if I go to Puyallup, Everett, Edmonds, or anywhere outside Seattle proper, it does seem to be raining a lot more, and actually really raining, not a light drizzle for part of the day which is what I usually seem to get. For me, the winter and spring were incredibly dry this year too. It's been glorious weather in Seattle for months, but this is an extremely rare year.
    Last edited by Medic Zero; 07-30-13 at 01:59 PM.
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  21. #21
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic Zero View Post
    We do. Redmond is a good 10 miles away, and not in Seattle at all! Seriously, if I go to Puyallup, Everett, Edmonds, or anywhere outside Seattle proper, it does seem to be raining a lot more, and actually really raining, not a light drizzle for part of the day which is what I usually seem to get. For me, the winter and spring were incredibly dry this year too. It's been glorious weather in Seattle for months, but this is an extremely rare year.
    Following last summer's dry end in September, the monthly total precip was well above historical normals throughout October, November, and December. Although Jan, Feb, and March were below average precip, April was brutally wet at more than twice the average precip. May and June were both above average precip as well.

    In total, it was a wetter rainy season than average and although there were dryer months it still rained more days than it didn't during them and in no way can you say "incredibly dry". Further, those days in January and February when it didn't rain were plagued by heavy frost on roads and trails throughout the region.

    It has been a terrific July.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimsonghost View Post
    So, does it actually snow up there during the winter? I mean in Seattle? And how does the cold affect the riding? Im assuming ill be ok if i just get some thermal bibs and a decent jacket?
    I do well in a light windbreaker, with a wool base layer underneath, and on the very cold days, a cashmere sweater from the thrift shop. Light hiking pants, and on the coldest, soggiest of days I'll wear wool long johns under them. As long as I'm actually riding, I tend to make enough of my own heat for it not to be a problem. But cold affects some people more than others, so take my advice and everybody else's with a grain of salt.

    We don't get driving rain very often, and when it comes, it's a couple hours and then it lets up. We get a hell of a lot of drizzle, though. Ultimately I don't know how much difference there is, the roads are still wet, and you will be, too. Temps rarely drop below 40 F, although it snows about once a year, and sometimes it sticks around for a few days. Sometimes it's gone in minutes or hours.

    Physically our winters are downright mild (try New England!). Emotionally they can be a drag. It doesn't rain all that much, but it threatens to rain all the time, those low, bleak clouds hang around for weeks at a time, you rarely see the light of day, and it's dark before 5 pm.

    I ride through the winter. I also go into the Cascades (much much closer than the Sierra) and snowshoe, winter hike, etc. We get these inversions in the winter where the clouds stop at 2,000 feet, if you go above that point you're in the warm sun.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  23. #23
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    I live on the eastside in the dreaded Puget Sound Convergence zone and am a full-time bicycle commuter. I'm also an obsessive spreadsheet geek who tracks weather conditions on all my rides (cannot help it). Here are a few stats that should give you an idea of what to expect around here.

    2012:
    Number of rides: 389 (For commutes I count one ride into work and a second ride going home)
    Average Low Temp: 45
    Average High Temp: 58
    Lowest Temp: 25
    Highest Temp: 93

    General conditions on each ride:
    Snow: 6 (a mountain bike is handy)
    Rain: 93 (by definition is was cloudy these days )
    Cloudy: 97
    P Cloudy: 77
    Clear/Sunny: 116

    2013 YTD:
    Rides: 224
    Average Low Temp: 45
    Average High Temp: 58
    Lowest Temp: 22
    Highest Temp: 88

    General conditions:
    Rain: 44
    Snow: 0
    Cloudy: 56
    P Cloudy: 62
    Clear/Sunny: 62


    Riding in the rain is not a big deal, just get fenders and good rain gear. It's not so much the rain that gets people down, it's the dark/cloudy days. November-February can seem endless. You just have to stay active and try to get away to the sun once in a while.
    Last edited by woodway; 07-31-13 at 04:28 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    I lived in Santa Cruz, CA for many years before migrating north. Whoever said the Spring&Fall riding in central CA can't be beat was correct. As for the winters here, well you just need to take up ski patrolling. Much closer than a drive to Tahoe. 10 months of riding can be enjoyable but for most months you need fenders, the right clothing and a bit more maintenance than in sunny CA.

    Climate change may make Seattle more SF-like. Last year was 80+ continuous days of dry summer (July+Aug+Sept); this year the "dry" started earlier. Sometimes you just have to 'love the one you're with'. Oh yeah - no thick, daily fog in the summer like SC & SF.
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '86 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, '87 DeRosa Professional, '99 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

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    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    I am jelly! Maybe i'll see you in a few years mate!
    Assume nothing; Question everything

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