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Seattle in March?

Old 01-04-20, 08:33 PM
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zacster
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Seattle in March?

I know, it'll rain. But is there at least a chance I can squeeze a few rides in? I'm a one time resident of the Emerald City back in the 80s and my wife has a conference there in early March. Now that I've retired, plus I fly for free, I'm going to tag along.

I did a trip to Seattle back in 2010 with my bike, and had a blast. This was in early May so I had some decent weather. But I recall March being one of the most miserable months, rain almost every day, still cold, and not yet spring. Should I expect otherwise? I'm going try to rent a bike this time as traveling on standby with a bike isn't easy. I did a similar trip to San Fran in November and rented a nice bike there.

Any advice on where to rent? SF has bike rental places all over the city, but looking online for Seattle isn't very promising. I'd love to bring my Davidson along, but again, I don't want to travel with a bike as it is a big PITA, especially on standby. Hmmm, my wife is traveling on a confirmed paid ticket since it is for work, maybe she can check it.
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Old 01-04-20, 10:40 PM
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It's been a very warm winter, but that might be starting to change. Usually by March it's warmed up noticably. And the days are getting longer. Most of them still have rain, but there tend to be a few warm and sunny ones too, especially towards the end of the month.

If you can tolerate riding in the rain, it's no issue. If you have time and a car, drive east, you can get a sunburn in Leavenworth in March if you choose the right day.
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Old 01-04-20, 11:19 PM
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March is a transition month - it's much less likely to be rainy than Nov-Jan, but is nothing like the mostly-dry period of June-Sept. Temps are moderating and you can often get nice 60+ days, but it could also be in the low-40's and in one of four years, there might even be snow for a day or two in March. It's a crap shoot.

Montlake Bike Shop has a pretty good selection of rentals, but they're anything but cheap.

- Mark
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Old 01-05-20, 08:56 AM
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Yea, that's what I thought. I guess if the weather isn't cooperating I have other things I can do there. On my trip 10 years ago it was a beautiful day and I started downtown, went up through Gasworks on the BG, went around Lk Washington and down to Marymoor. As I was leaving Marymoor I saw the dark clouds. By the time I got to Microsoftland it was pouring. And it poured the entire way back. This was before 520 too so I had to go across Mercer Island. I could barely see. It only stopped raining when I got back in town.

Montlake seems to be the only place that rents decent bikes and yes they are expensive. Twice what I paid in SF. I checked Spinlister but need to register. I'll call around the shops. I see Elliot Bay bikes has closed and Davidson moved somewhere else.
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Old 01-06-20, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Yea, that's what I thought. I guess if the weather isn't cooperating I have other things I can do there. On my trip 10 years ago it was a beautiful day and I started downtown, went up through Gasworks on the BG, went around Lk Washington and down to Marymoor. As I was leaving Marymoor I saw the dark clouds. By the time I got to Microsoftland it was pouring. And it poured the entire way back. This was before 520 too so I had to go across Mercer Island. I could barely see. It only stopped raining when I got back in town.

Montlake seems to be the only place that rents decent bikes and yes they are expensive. Twice what I paid in SF. I checked Spinlister but need to register. I'll call around the shops. I see Elliot Bay bikes has closed and Davidson moved somewhere else.
The new 520 bridge now has bike lanes, so you can do a loop with both bridges if this appeals.

- Mark
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Old 01-06-20, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
The new 520 bridge now has bike lanes, so you can do a loop with both bridges if this appeals.

- Mark
When I lived there in the 80s, starting from Capital Hill I would go around the north end of the lake and then either across I-90 or around the south end. The thing I never did though was to go around the south end to the north for some reason. And when I returned to ride in 2010 I did that loop I mentioned above I was surprised at the bad condition of the BG from root heaves and other things. I guess over 25 years things could deteriorate some. The north end connectors were completely different than I remember, in fact I remember there wasn't a north end connector. Also, in 2010 I was riding from Marymoor along the 520 trail but was completely baffled by how it ended with no clear street to take in any direction from there. It was pouring down rain and just wanted to duck under something but there was just nothing there, and after 25 years away I didn't remember my one kind of sort of better route through Bellevue/Redmond. And in any case, Microsoft and the traffic it generates was much smaller back then too. I managed to find my way to I-90 and sat under the bridge for a while to see if the deluge would stop. It didn't so I persevered across it to Mercer Island, another place that had changed entirely, and then across the floating bridge to Seattle in the rain. Only when I got to the Seattle side did the rain slow down to its normal drizzle but by then I was soaked to the bone even with a rain jacket. I bought that rain jacket the day I landed at REI because I just knew I'd need it, and have hardly used it since because you just don't ride in the rain here in NYC if you don't have to.

On that same trip I also rode out to the Bike to Work day expo in Ballard in the late afternoon. On the way back I got stuck in a huge thunderstorm, but this time I waited it out at the PCC store in Fremont.
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Old 01-08-20, 09:10 AM
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Recycled Cycles near UW Medical Center does rentals, but I have not personally tried them.

Rentals ? Recycled Cycles

Indeed, many of the little routes we use to get around the lake have changed over the years.
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Old 01-08-20, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespeedlouie View Post
Recycled Cycles near UW Medical Center does rentals, but I have not personally tried them.

Rentals ? Recycled Cycles

Indeed, many of the little routes we use to get around the lake have changed over the years.
Thanks. I'm going to rent something when I get there rather than reserving. It could be miserable and it could be nice. I'll see when the time comes.
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Old 01-10-20, 09:25 PM
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Element Cycles in Redmond rents bikes.

https://www.elementcycles.net/rentals-demos/
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Old 01-11-20, 12:29 AM
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I bought my bike from Element in Redmond. Good people.

Another option: REI rents Nordic skis. There will be good groomed trails in March.
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Old 01-11-20, 10:23 AM
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What size bike do you ride?

I have 59/60cm bikes with Campy10, Double or triple depending on where you might be riding.

Or if DT friction shifting doesn't intimidate you, 58-62cm bikes, but only double chainrings.
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Old 01-11-20, 11:54 PM
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zacster
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
What size bike do you ride?

I have 59/60cm bikes with Campy10, Double or triple depending on where you might be riding.

Or if DT friction shifting doesn't intimidate you, 58-62cm bikes, but only double chainrings.
Thanks, but I'm a 52 or so.
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