A Biking Kind Of Day: An Introduction to biking in the beautiful Northwest

A group of people stop along a sunny ride along the Interurban Trail.

Today feels like A Biking Kind Of Day. A good day to go where you want and get out and enjoy life at your own speed.

My name is Forrest Baum, and I bike with my family in and around Lynnwood. We bike to school, take our electric cargo bike on trips to Costco, and even go camping by bike. When we moved here, I joined Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group, which is made up of local volunteers working to improve walking and biking.

One of our goals is to share what we know about biking with more of our neighbors. It’s a new year, so let’s get started riding around! Resolutions aside, this time of year is a good time to get going. Maybe your bike is a bit dusty, or you need a bike – let’s get you started.

Margaret Elwood’s favorite destination is riding through Woodway to the overlook at Richmond Beach.

If you already have a bike, let’s give it a good once-over, and head out for a spin. If you know someone who rides regularly, it can help to ride with a friend. If you need a bike, your bike needs work, or you’re not sure where to ride, read on.

Get A Bike

Find a bike that fits, and get rolling. Going on test rides is the best way to find what you like and works best. Ask around if something could be better, or just isn’t working. There are now a blistering array of options when it comes to which bike to choose, and even more ways to adjust and personalize yours to make it work better, so there’s most likely a way to get what you want. As a bonus, this is a great time of year to find a deal, so look around to see what’s available.

Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group volunteers set up a station to greet bike commuters coming off the Edmonds-Kingston ferry on Bike Everywhere Day.

Grabbing a bikeshare bike is an easy way try out riding (and to give e-bikes a spin), but you’ll need to head to Bothell, Seattle, or beyond to do so. Bothell Ski & Bike and Amped Adventure are both good options for renting bikes and e-bikes. They’re also both close to the Burke-Gilman/Sammamish Trails, for some flat and beautiful adventuring.

When you’re ready to buy, it’s a good idea to purchase a bike that you’ve already tried out. Buy locally, if possible from a local bike shop that you can take it in to for service. In this area, the nearest bike stores (and mechanics) are Harvy’s Bike Shop, Gregg’s Lynnwood Cycle and Play It Again Sports. All are near Highway 99. REI’s Bike Shop in their Alderwood Mall location is also a good place to look. More info on these locations can be found below.

If money is tight, this can be a good time of year to find used bikes for sale. Sharing Wheels in Everett has great deals, and thrift stores such as Edmonds Goodwill also regularly have bikes available, and many can be found on Craigslist or other online marketplaces.

Edmonds Toy shop even has bikes available for kids who can’t afford one. Families registered with Edmonds Food Bank are eligible for this incredible program. If your child has outgrown their bike, this is also a great place to donate.

Get Your Bike Ready

You’re ready to ride, but aren’t sure if your bike is? Bikes are pretty simple machines. Be sure to do an A-B-C Quick check before you set out:

A – Air should be pumped up to the suggested range on your tires

B – Brakes should stop the bike securely

C – Chain should be snug and gears shift as expected

Q – Quick-releases (if you have them) should be closed firmly enough to work safely

Visiting Bainbridge Island’s “Frog Rock” during the Chilly Hilly ride.

These basics will make sure you’re safe to ride, but bikes can get complicated past this point. You may have suspension on a mountain bike, or a motor and electronics on an e-bike. Listen for any unusual noises, and take your bike in to an expert if you can’t find the answer.

Fix Up Your Ride

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to fix everything. All of the bike shops mentioned above have mechanics who can help, along with places like Friendly Bike Repair. Some bike shops even have mobile service, and will come to you. You can also take a basic maintenance class through Cascade Bicycle Club, or work on your own ride at shops such as Sharing Wheels in Everett.

Get Riding

Time to get out and ride! Remember to start within your comfort zone. The Edmonds waterfront provides a good, long, flat, car-free path to get started. The Interurban Trail is another good option nearby, and is a car-free dedicated mixed-use path from N 145th St in Shoreline to Echo Lake, and from Lake Ballinger the whole way to Lynnwood. Maps are available from Edmonds and Snohomish County, and there are many other ways to share routes.

Visiting the tulip fields by bicycle.

If you’re just getting started, a really good way to get comfortable is to ride with a friend or group. That way you can follow someone who’s been this way before, and you can just enjoy yourself without worrying about missing a turn. Bike Clubs will often have routes and destinations that you can choose from, and they’ll usually involve some social time, when you can just relax, and maybe grab a bite to eat or a drink.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, see what you can do. Maybe you can try out a new ride on your own. Try biking for an errand, or for a treat. Riding onto the ferry is amazing (no line for you!) We have hills, but none too steep that you can’t walk your bike up them!

What’s Next?

I hope this helped give you a needed push to start riding. In future editions we plan to cover Favorite Local Rides, Avoiding Trouble and Basic Fixes, and of course, E-bikes! What would you like to know about biking?

There are plenty of adventures to be had. See you out there!

Forrest Baum riding the Interurban Trail.

Local Bike Resources:

Get or fix a bike:

You can also find used bikes at:

Bike Clubs:

Did we miss any important local bike resources? Let us know!

— By Forrest Baum

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.