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May is Bike Everywhere Month – Let’s get ready to ride! 

Three youngsters smile while riding their bikes in Seattle. Photo credit: Jeanné Clark 

Blog stats: 1,500 words | 7-minute read 

Dust off your helmet, fill up your tires, and grab your friends and family. We’re kicking off Bike Everywhere Month today and throughout the month of May! 

We hope you can join the celebration and enjoy biking as part of your everyday trips to work, school, parks, and countless other destinations in Seattle and beyond. Read on for a variety of resources and tools to get ready to roll, as well as events to check out this month. 

Please use the links below to jump to any topic within this blog post: 

Bike & scooter resources 

Whether you’re pedaling to get somewhere quickly or enjoying a leisurely ride along our city’s many scenic routes, be sure you’re prepared to enjoy your bike ride by reading our Seattle by Bike Guide. The guide offers a detailed breakdown of all things biking, from preparing for your ride, to planning your route, to bike maintenance basics, and everything in between.  

Don’t own a bike? Seattle offers bike and scooter share options for your trip. Visit our bike and scooter share website for all the details on how to get started. If you don’t have a smartphone, each company provides other ways to access bikes and scooters. 

How much does it cost to rent a bike? Each company’s rates differ, but most include a $1 unlock fee and charge approximately $0.42-$0.45 per minute, plus taxes and fees. If you have ORCA LIFT, a Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP), Apple Health (Medicaid), or you receive discounted utilities, discounted housing, or nutritional assistance (e.g. SNAP), you likely qualify for rides at a reduced cost.  

More information on renting equipment, correctly parking, and safely using a scooter or bike can be found on our website

Protect yourself – please wear a helmet! Make sure you stay safe during your ride by wearing a helmet. You can receive a free helmet at any of these six Seattle Customer Service Centers: Ballard, Lake City, University, Central, Southwest, and Southeast. For all the details about free helmet resources, visit our website

People ride along the protected bike lane on 5th Ave near the Seattle Center. Photo: SDOT 

Bike maintenance and safety 

Stay safe by ensuring your bike is in good condition and knowing how to navigate through the city. Before your ride, make sure to do an “ABC Quick Check” – Air, Breaks, & Chains.  

  • Check your tire pressure as low pressure can lead to a flat tire. 
  • Visually check the brake pads for wear. If there is less than 1/8 inch of brake pad left, they need to be replaced. 
  • Check your handbrakes as well by making sure the levers snap back once released. 
  • Make sure the bike’s chains are silver, with no evidence of rust or gunk. Then turn the pedals backwards to see if the chain travels smoothly. 

If you need to buy a new or used bike, a bike part, or get bike repairs taken care of, below are a few of the many local bike shops in Seattle that offer these services. 

Make yourself known. When making any changes to your biking speed or making turns, use hand signals to let others know.  

Examples of hand signals to indicate left turns, right turns, and slowing down. Graphic credit: SDOT 

Vision can be challenging at night for everyone, so if you plan to bike during the darker hours, protect yourself by using equipment like bike lights, a red rear light, a helmet light, and reflectors. Bells are handy accessories to have on your bike when passing other cyclists and pedestrians. If you do not have a bell, use your voice to signal you are passing other people. 

Learn to bike 

No matter your skill level, we hope you can participate in Bike Everywhere Month. Below are a few resources to help you start your biking journey.  

Benefits of biking 

Biking is not only a physically and mentally beneficial activity for our health, but it also benefits our city’s health. Transportation is the largest contributor to Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions, but with every new bike trip, we eliminate an average of 366 grams of carbon dioxide for our city. 

To reach our goal of carbon neutrality as part of our Climate Change Response Framework SDOT has been working to support biking by building protected bike lanes funded by the Levy to Move Seattle as well as healthy streets and neighborhood greenways.  

A person bikes in the protected bike lane on 2nd Ave into downtown Seattle. Photo: SDOT 

Bike routes 

Seattle offers many scenic routes for you to enjoy your bike ride! Use our trail maps to explore some beloved bike trails in the city. The maps also show landmarks near or on the trails. 

A few examples include: 

Plan your trip before you go by checking the locations of various bike facilities throughout Seattle with our interactive Bike Web Map and Printable Bike Map.  

Check out these Apps for more bike routes around the city: 

This month is also the perfect time to kick start the day right by rolling to school. You can read more about biking to school in Seattle on the Seattle Public Schools website. You can also read about our Safe Routes to School program here.  

Community biking events 

  • Access to Transportation Fair hosted by the Seattle Reign FC – Friday, May 3: Going to the Seattle Reign game on May 3? You can learn more about a variety of community transportation resources before kick-off at 7 PM in a rematch of the 2023 NWSL Semi-Final where Seattle Reign FC will take on the San Diego Wave FC at Lumen Field. Learn more here.
  • National Walk and Bike to School Day – Wednesday, May 8: This is an opportunity for students to walk and bike to school while being active and building community. Over 30 schools in Seattle are participating this year. Learn more here
  • Bike Everyday Day – Friday, May 17: Bike Everywhere Day is the mid-month peak event for Bike Everywhere Month where the community supports bicyclists with Celebration Stations throughout Seattle. Celebration Stations give bikers a chance to take a break from their ride to hydrate, enjoy social time, and take in the view. Learn more about planned Celebration Stations throughout Seattle on the Cascade Bike Club website
  • Join us! We’re co-hosting a Celebration Station with West Seattle Bike Connections as part of the East Marginal Way Corridor Improvement Project. Come visit us on May 17 from 6 to 9 AM We’ll be located here under the West Seattle Bridge, along the Duwamish Trail where the Alki, Duwamish, and Downtown trails meet.
  • Join us! We’re also hosting several more biking and walking outreach tables on May 17 as part of Bike Everywhere Day. Come visit us at the following locations where we’ll have snacks, hydration, and SDOT giveaways for you to enjoy:
  • Bike Month Send Off – Wednesday, May 22: Celebrate the end of Bike Month with SDOT, Commute Seattle, and other partners at South Lake Union Park (next to MOHAI), 4-6 PM. Featuring FREE food, helmets, and bike lights! Learn more here.  
  • Stay tuned for more events in May – and follow us on social media for our latest updates. 
People biking along N 34th St in Fremont, where we completed a protected bike lane in 2021. 

Adaptive cycling program with Outdoors for All 

During the summer, Outdoors for All offers FREE adaptive bike and trike rentals at an Adaptive Cycling Center in partnership with SDOT. The program is located at Building 406 in Magnuson Park and it offers one of the largest selections of adaptive bikes in the country! 

There are options for riders with physical, developmental, or cognitive disabilities and for folks who used to ride a standard bicycle but no longer feel comfortable for balance and safety reasons. Ages 7 and up. 

Key details: 

A participant smiles on an adaptive cycle on a sunny day. Photo credit: Outdoors for All 

Happy Bike Everywhere Month and we hope you enjoy your biking adventures! 

Editor’s Note – May 7, 2024: We added several more outreach tables where we’ll be stationed on Bike Everywhere Day – Friday, May 17, 2024.