With the days getting longer, the sun coming out and temperatures starting to rise, now is the perfect time to hop on a bike and try out an active commute! Interested in commuting to Downtown Seattle by bike but not comfortable jumping into it alone? How about a group ride designed to be comfortable for riders of all skill level? This May, Seattle Bike Train is celebrating Bike Month by launching a new route from Ravenna to Downtown.

The Seattle Bike Train is a weekly, volunteer-led, bike commute group, with rides originating from three different Seattle neighborhoods and traveling to downtown. It’s an easy way for riders of all levels to hit the streets, feel safe commuting via bike and meet fellow cyclists. Bike Train volunteers plan and test new routes to educate riders who want to learn how to safely navigate the city’s busy streets. The groups typically ride at a slower pace along protected infrastructure to make the experience feel safe and manageable for beginners. The newest route in Ravenna leaves each Friday morning from Roosevelt, traveling along the Roosevelt Way NE protected bike lane with stops in Fremont, South Lake Union and Westlake. The route began this month and has had riders of all skill level in attendance. The bike train helps riders feel safe on urban streets they may have avoided in the past. At the inaugural ride a few weeks ago, a few of the riders mentioned it being the first time they have attempted to cycle into downtown.

Nick Van Den Heuvel, the lead volunteer for the newest Ravenna/Roosevelt route got his bike commuting start after attending a previous Commute Seattle bike event. Nick enjoyed his experience riding alongside others and now commutes by bike a few times a week. Nick takes his love for biking even further and has become an advocate for biking and non-driving commutes at his employer, Slalom.

Slalom is one of the many Seattle employers investing in active commute options. Slalom offers secure bike storage and is located directly on the 2nd Avenue protected bike lane making it easy for employees to commute. In an effort to increase active commutes during Bike Month, Nick convinced his employer to incentivize bike rides with prizes. As a result, Slalom is giving away an Apple Watch to the Slalom employee that commutes the most by bicycle during the month. Nick states that over 30 employees signed up for the Bike Everywhere challenge and noticed quite an uptick in people arriving to the office on bicycle. Providing incentives is a great way to increase your company’s bike mode split. If you are interested in ways to promote biking at your workplace, contact a specialist today.   

Learn more about Seattle Bike Train and join one of their weekly group rides:

Ravenna/Roosevelt: Fridays departing at 7:45 a.m. from Broadcast Coffee
Othello/Beacon Hill: Fridays departing at 7:40 a.m. from Cafe Red
Columbia City/Mt. Baker: Fridays departing at 7:30 a.m. from Empire Espresso