by Eileen Kadesh & Doug Burgesser
Bike Commuting in Kirkland
First you need to have a bike
- Visit a local bike shop to learn what type of bicycle will work best for you – road bike, touring bike, mountain bike, hybrid, folding bike, electric bike and the features that are important to you
- Kirkland Bicycle in downtown Kirkland is a good resource
- REI in Redmond also has bicycles for commuting
Then you need some basic gear
- Helmet – this is required by law throughout King County
- Lock – unless you want to donate your bike to a local bike thief
- Fenders – we all know what type of weather the Pacific Northwest is famous for
- Rack on rear of bike
- Tire pump, spare tubes/patch kit – most people wouldn’t drive a car without a spare tire, so why would you drive your bike without the basics to fix a flat
Learn the rules of the road and how to ride safely in traffic
- Cascade Bicycle Club offers commuter classes in urban cycling, how to ride with
confidence fixing flats, and bike maintenance. There are classes scheduled in time to prepare for Bike-to-Work Month. See shop.cascade.org/open_education
- Watch King County Metro’s video about safely interacting with buses
Next you need a good route
- You should map your route first and then try it out on a weekend
- The City of Kirkland has a bike map showing proposed and existing bike routes. www.kirklandwa.gov/Assets/Public+Works/Public+Works+PDFs/transcom/archive/FigT8bicyclemap
- King County also offers an online bike map at www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/roads/bicycling.aspx
- Cascade Bicycle Club’s message board www.cascade.org/Community/forum/index.cfmis is a good resource to post inquiries about the best routes through a particular area and to find someone to ride with
You might want to link with the bus
- Every Metro bus has a rack with capacity for three bikes. Tips for loading a bike can be found at kingcounty.gov/metro/bike. If you are nervous about learning to load your bike, you can practice with the display bus bike rack at Bellevue College, in downtown Seattle at the offices of The Bicycle Alliance of Washington – 314 First Ave S. or at the University of Washington Transportation Center metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bike/rackfaq.html
- If you don’t need to bring your bike with you, but simply want to access transit by bike, secure bicycle lockers are available at the following transit facilities in Kirkland:
|Kingsgate P&R||S. Kirkland P&R|
|Houghton P&R||Brickyard P&R|
- Contact the Bicycle Alliance of Washington at 206-224-9252 for information on renting a bicycle locker at a King County Metro transit facility.
- At the Kirkland Transit Center there are hanging racks available under cover on the north side of the downtown parking garage under the library
Running Errands by Bike
Bicycle racks are available at businesses throughout Kirkland. This information has been mapped by Kirkland cyclist Jim Hunt. See the link in the sidebar to the right.
You will need to have some type of bags or carrier to haul your merchandise
- Many companies make square panniers especially designed for carrying groceries
- There are also carriers that you can attach to the rear of your bike
Cycling for Recreation
Sure, Kirkland has hills. But just get over them! – Ha, ha!
You can pick routes to avoid hills, get a bike with low gears, or even consider an electric bike.
Or, you can learn to celebrate the hills by registering for the 7 Hills of Kirkland Bike Ride www.7HillsKirkland.org. It’s Kirkland’s premier hometown event, held annually on Memorial Day, starting from the Kirkland Marina, with proceeds going to provide housing and assistance for homeless families.
Here are some ideas for recreational rides:
- Lake Washington Blvd – bike lanes on both sides. Watch out for doors opening as you pass parked cars
- Sammamish River Trail – take NE 124th St to the Sammamish River Trail or you can wind through Rose Hill and connect via Old Redmond Road
- Juanita Drive – a favorite training ride; riding from south to north is probably the easier direction