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Seattle Biking Advice Wanted

Old 07-30-21, 04:37 PM
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Seattle Biking Advice Wanted

Next week it looks like I'll be leaving for Seattle on business for 10 day. Also looks like I'll have lots of time so I plan to take my bike. I'll be staying around 85th St close to Lake Green. Quick look a Strava and it looks like I can swing by the lake cross bridge into Bellevue down to Mercer Island and circle around,over bridge and back up for about 40 miles. This a good route? Bridges OK for bikes. Must see and ride,must avoid advice? Tips? From where I'll be staying I'll have time for 20-40 mile round trips. Maybe a day or to for an all "dayer". Thanks.
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Old 07-30-21, 06:40 PM
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I just got back from riding the Burke-Gilman trail. It was a great off-road, paved trail. Here is a link to the map https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...eX0-feinQ&z=13

I do not live in Seattle but I biked a couple of miles from Queen Anne and Mercer to T-Mobile park and back. Once I understood the routing within construction, I was on bike lanes. But even going to T-Mobile, motorists were OK and many streets have sharrows.

Someone more knowledgeable will have better info for your location. But, it you do not get another reply, the B-G is a safe and nice place to ride.
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Old 07-30-21, 07:11 PM
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Going around Mercer Island is a good route, there's minimal traffic on the island itself. There are pedestrian trails on both the 520 and I-90 bridges so those won't be an issue. What really sucks are the connections between trails. Literally,a trail will end and dump you onto a street and then you need to figure out how to get to the next part. Obviously having routing from a bike computer or GPS mapping app will help, but even I still get confused at times.

You'll find good routes on RideWithGPS from COGS or RUSA that go around the area. If you aren't in a hurry then the ones that take you around the city parks and neighborhoods are pleasant, but involve a lot of stopping.
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Old 07-30-21, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ald1 View Post
Bridges OK for bikes. Must see and ride,must avoid advice? Tips?
Originally Posted by surak View Post
There are pedestrian trails on both the 520 and I-90 bridges so those won't be an issue.
I would put one of those bridges on the must see list. I've only done the I90 trail, I assume 520 is basically the same experience. It's beautiful on a clear day. They're floating bridges, the trail isn't very far above the water in the middle, the I90 trail is on the N side of the bridge so gives a fantastic view of Mount Baker and the northern Cascades as if they're rising up out of the water. And then Rainier towering over the other side.

​​​​​​​Personally I would spend the miles riding around the lake vs Mercer Island. But both options are fun and scenic, there isn't a wrong choice.
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Old 07-30-21, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I would put one of those bridges on the must see list. I've only done the I90 trail, I assume 520 is basically the same experience. It's beautiful on a clear day.
Forrest, you need to ride over the 520. It is far superior to I-90 in every way except it misses Mercer Island's parks. It's far wider, quieter to vehicle traffic, has turnouts with benches, and on the east side has a park with a view back across to Seattle.
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Old 07-31-21, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Forrest, you need to ride over the 520. It is far superior to I-90 in every way except it misses Mercer Island's parks. It's far wider, quieter to vehicle traffic, has turnouts with benches, and on the east side has a park with a view back across to Seattle.
This. The I-90 bike lane has been narrowed and while it's fine and safe, you'll feel like traffic is right on top of you. The 520 lane is much wider and a better ride.

To the OP, head over the 520 bridge. Head north on Lake Washington Blvd. into Kirkland and when it T's go left then right onto Market St. Follow that until you get to Juanita Dr., go left there and follow that until you get to Highway 522/N. Bothell Way where you pick up the Burke Gilman Trail. That will take you back around to the start of your loop.

The roads Lake Washington Blvd./Market St./Juanita Dr. all have bike lanes or good shoulders and are heavily used by cyclists. Motorists around Seattle are, for the most part, used to co-existing with cyclists. The Burke-Gilman Trail can get pretty crowded on weekend. Have a great ride.
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Old 07-31-21, 01:24 PM
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Thanks everyone.
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Old 07-31-21, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by woodway View Post
This. The I-90 bike lane has been narrowed and while it's fine and safe, you'll feel like traffic is right on top of you. The 520 lane is much wider and a better ride.

To the OP, head over the 520 bridge. Head north on Lake Washington Blvd. into Kirkland and when it T's go left then right onto Market St. Follow that until you get to Juanita Dr., go left there and follow that until you get to Highway 522/N. Bothell Way where you pick up the Burke Gilman Trail. That will take you back around to the start of your loop.

The roads Lake Washington Blvd./Market St./Juanita Dr. all have bike lanes or good shoulders and are heavily used by cyclists. Motorists around Seattle are, for the most part, used to co-existing with cyclists. The Burke-Gilman Trail can get pretty crowded on weekend. Have a great ride.
Be forewarned, Juanita Dr is a big giant hill, and quite steep in parts.
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Old 07-31-21, 02:00 PM
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There are some fine, big loops North, South and East of Seattle. Post here is you want something bigger to ride. If you really want something different and have access to a car that can carry your bike, drive up to Anacortes, park your car at the ferry terminal, ride you bike onto the ferry to Orcas Island. At Orcas, wait for all the cars to exit the ferry and then head out to Moran State Park and climb Mt. Constitution. Nice ride, good climb, stunning payoff.
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Old 08-01-21, 01:13 PM
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Thanks, both of you, for letting me know about 520. I thought it must be just like 90. Guess I have a plan ready. 🙂
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Old 08-01-21, 03:12 PM
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When I lived there riding out to Marymoor Velodrome was a regular route. That was before 520 had a bike lane, and there was no trail alongside 520 in Redmond, right through Microsoft. I would go north on BG trail, down Sammamish (also before the connection was made between them) to Marymoor, and then find my way through the streets of Redmond/Bellevue to I90. This was in the 1980s and a lot has changed. When I was last there to ride the bridge still hadn't opened for cyclists and the 520 path just kind of ended with no clear way to go, plus it started to rain, but not the gentle Seattle rain, a total downpour.

Another favorite after work ride was down Lake Washington Blvd to Seward Park. I did that ride last time too and was surprised at how narrow it actually was, not the great ride I remembered. Still fun though.

But here's the funny thing, riding around Seattle was a little nerve wracking compared to the streets of NYC. I know the routes here that avoid traffic, even midtown Manhattan, but Seattle felt like the cars, buses and bikes mixed it up a bit too much even if the drivers are more aware.

My son is moving out to Seattle next month and I'll get to ride there again. In fact, he currently is in possession of my Davidson that I rode when I lived there. I was going to suggest that he bring it so I could use it out there but he already said he wouldn't take it as he wants a more modern bike. He's also a good 6" taller than I am, so it doesn't really fit him. Anyway, I'll be exploring there again. I'm 66 so the hills could be an issue as I never get to ride any here in NYC, although I did OK in San Fran right before the pandemic hit. Just need lower gears...
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Old 08-01-21, 09:52 PM
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I'd much rather ride on I-90 than 520, only because I hate all those bumps on 520. There used to be twice as many and they were far worse, but they did fix most of them. Still, it's a lot bumpier than I-90.

​​​​​​The op should check out NE Perkins Way, my favorite road to bomb down. Going the other way, it's a challenging climb. At the top, I get on it near North City Park and it takes me down to the top of Lake Wa.

A really nice route is from the Arboretum to Seward Park along Lake Wa Blvd.
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Old 08-03-21, 09:28 AM
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There is a nice 20-mile loop heading north on the Interurban trail from greenlake, then taking the burk-gillman connector near 185th heading east, then turn south on the burk-gillman past UW to freemont, then back north on the interurban home.

Also, as others have said, the 520-bridge is nice and easy to get to from North Seattle. A loop hitting both the 520 and I90 bridges is definitely feasible too!
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