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Mar 05

Bike Commuting is Back - Mayor Liam Olsen Spring 2021

Posted on March 5, 2021 at 8:30 AM by Becky Range

As the days are ever so slightly beginning to lengthen again, I find myself getting my bicycle ready for commuting to work again. I admit, I am a fair weather rider and take November through February off from commuting to work, saving bike rides for those few and far between sunny weekends.

I start off cleaning my bike, that road grime builds up quick during winter rides. I check
shifters, brakes and apply a fresh coat of chain lube.  Nothing is worse than listening to a noisy chain complain on a quiet morning ride. I check the batteries in my lights, those cold months in the garage seem to sap the life out of them. 

Before heading out, I double check that I have the essentials - a helmet, a spare tube, tire levers, and a working pump.  I don’t know if it is just me, or if there is actually more debris on the road in the spring, but I always seem to get a flat or two during my first weeks of riding again. 

As I emerge from commuting hibernation, I have to remind myself, car drivers are as unaccustomed to seeing bikes on the road as us riders are riding out on the road.

With more sand in the gutters and on the shoulders from the snow, I keep an easier pace, and let’s face it, after a few months off from consistent riding, my lungs feel the burn of that crisp winter air!

It’s great to get back on the road, and after my many years of sharing the road with cars, I luckily have never been injured. I believe that has to do with my understanding that no matter how many lights I have on my bike, no matter how bright the bike clothes, I can end up in a vehicle’s blind spot and it only takes a second. Let's all do our part to stay safe.

Be on the lookout for cyclists and more pedestrians out. Avoid distractions such as texting, calling, or eating while driving.

Cyclists: Obey traffic signs, signals and road markings just like you would in a car. Avoid or minimize riding on sidewalks. Plan routes ahead of time and choose roads with less traffic, slower speeds and wide shoulders. Properly fit your bike helmet.

On February 2nd, we heard a staff update on the City’s Bike Plan, which will be updated later this year.
The goal of the plan is to improve bike safety, enhance connections, address equity, and increase ridership. If you ride a lot, stay tuned. We’ll need your input on the plan to help identify which improvement projects should be prioritized.

If you haven’t already, be sure to bike the Sammamish River Trail and see our new pedestrian bridge at the Park at Bothell Landing. Happy and safe riding!