If you’re looking for an epic bike-vacation that has plenty of climbing without the crazy heat or freezing cold then biking in Seattle is going to be for you. When you think about bike vacations 99 percent of cyclists don’t think of Seattle. You are missing out on epic climbs, reasonable temperatures and more.
The biking in Seattle is so great, I made a second trip in October of 2021. My first was during the summer before the pandemic started. When visiting Seattle during COVID, you need to have your vaccination card, or take a test every 72 hours showing negative test results. I’d also recommend bringing plenty of masks. I’ve been forced to travel more than I’d like during this pandemic, and Seattle has been the most strict regarding mask and vaccination policies.
E-Biking in Seattle
There were plenty of places to pull out the road bike to get some miles in Seattle, but because our trip was so short we wanted to ride while seeing the sites. We decided to rent the public e-bikes to enjoy the city a bit more. They had pick up locations everywhere, the batteries were reliable and rental prices are affordable. There are also options for scooters.
There are plenty of ‘No-Go’ zones in Seattle. We inadvertently crossed the zone border. Meaning, we had to walk the bikes to the other side of the geofence before they would work again. I highly recommend pulling up a map of those zones and creating a custom route to avoid them rather than relying on Google or Apple maps. Our mistake took us down a very large hill and walking back up was not a fun experience.
Cycling on Bainbridge Island
If you love short bursts of extreme climbing then the steep hills of Bainbridge Island are a ‘must ride’ location. There is a lot of undulation to the terrain making it a fun place to ride. One of the highlights of our visit was riding bikes onto, and off of, the ferry that takes you to Bainbridge Island. Your ride starts with an immediate climb, and its a 34 mile ride to circle the island. Elevation change over those 34 miles is approximately 2,700 feet.
As a Colorado resident, I appreciated the similar feeling to riding at home. That being said, I am originally from the Midwest where according to my last Strava ride, the elevation gain over 34 miles was just over 900 feet. There weren’t as many public biking options on Bainbridge Island. It is such a fun place to ride, so I recommend experiencing it on a traditional road bike.
Bainbridge Island was such a fun place, and there were plenty of restaurants with excellent food. You can’t go biking in Seattle without riding the Washington Ferry over to Bainbridge Island, too. If you know of an epic bike-vacation location please let me know in the comments. My goal is to retire and travel the world to complete the most epic cycling rides. Help me build that list of epic rides by commenting below.