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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
Local Bike Resources:
- Snohomish Bicycling and Trail Maps – including Centennial and Interurban Trails
- Edmonds Biking and Walking Info and Map
- Maps available in person at the Lynnwood P&R Community Transit Ride Store
Get or fix a bike:
- Harvy’s Bike Shop – 19920 Hwy 99 # C, Lynnwood
- Gregg’s Lynnwood Cycle – 5810 196th St SW, Lynnwood
- REI Bike Shop – 3000 184th St SW Suite 952, in Alderwood Mall
- Play It Again Sports – 16929 Highway 99 Ste 110, Lynnwood
- Friendly Bike Repair – 18514 49th Pl W, Lynnwood
- Big 5 Sporting Goods – 1133 N 205th St, Shoreline
- Amped Adventure – 17191 Bothell Way NE B102, Lake Forest Park
- Bothell Ski & Bike – 8020 NE Bothell Way, Kenmore
- You can rent bikes from Amped Adventure, Bothell Ski & Bike, or direct from neighbors through Spinlister.
You can also find used bikes at:
- Edmonds Goodwill – 10117 Edmonds Way
- Sharing Wheels – 2531 Broadway Ave. in Everett
- Craigslist and other online marketplaces
- B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County – year-round rides and affordable membership
- Cascade Bicycle Club – Large active group offering group rides large and small
- Edmonds Mountain Bike Club – Middle and high school mountain bike group
Did we miss any important local bike resources? Let us know!
— By Forrest Baum
Thanks for a good read, Forrest. I’ve always felt there should be more bicycling going on in Edmonds, and I attribute the lack of it to topography~ the Bowl being, well, a bowl, there’s a lot of uphill to go anywhere else in Edmonds. Electric-assist bikes should mostly cure topography issues, and I know they are becoming more popular.
Our local Bicycle Advocacy Group should become more visible. Advertise your rides to us occasional / reluctant cyclists so we might join in.
Roger, we don’t have organized group rides (yet) because EBAG is such a small group. However, Cascade Bicycle Club has many ride leaders who lead rides in our area. And then there’s just connecting with one another individually, which can work well depending on schedules and riding ability or preferences. Keep on pedaling!
Because of unreliable balance I have to ride a trike (just as I walk with two poles). A trike is heavy and in Edmonds needs power assist,(which of course makes it even heavier).
I sometimes feel a bit frowned on by cyclists with two wheels and no power, but it is my only option.
I look forward to reading more of your column, and sometimes it might help if you were to point out if your route options are or are not suitable to trikes.
I’m glad to hear you’re able to keep moving, both on foot and by trike!
I’ll definitely keep that in mind – what do you think would make a route suitable for trikes?
So do you pay part of the road taxes? Even riding an electric bike for an old person isn’t an option. But glad you r enjoying riding with your family. That is great !!!
Interesting question. We do pay road taxes – our family also has a gas car that we pay taxes on. And part of everyone’s taxes goes toward roads. This gets tricky when considering electric cars, vehicle weights, etc… it could actually be a whole article of its own.
Great read, Forrest! I’m really grateful for EBAG’s work around town. Cycling (and all the different ways to do it) are awesome for the health of our community and climate.
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