Archive for May, 2013

Join the City of Bellevue and fellow bicycle riders on June 15 for an adventurous and fun ride in Bellevue! The Lake to Lake Bike Ride, which benefits the City of Bellevue youth camp scholarship fund, starts and finishes at Lake Hills Park (1200 164th Avenue SE) and winds through some of Bellevue’s award winning parks and trails.

There will be two routes for the ride. Both routes utilize a  combination of low traffic roads, bike lanes and gravel trails.  One route is mostly flat,  and is the shorter of the two at approximately 8  miles (roundtrip). It’s  perfect for a family or less experienced cyclists.  The longer loop is 22 miles with some challenging climbs.  We have tweaked the courses from last year to offer more trails and a better route through downtown Bellevue on the longer loop. A bike that can handle a variety of terrain is recommended for either route.

After the event, there will be refreshments and a prize give-away.

Pre- entry is only $12, day of event,  $17.

This ride is NOT suggested for children under 8 years old unless riding in a trailer or tag-along.  All participants receive a Pace brand custom bike hat, and goodies.

The first 150 to register will receive custom event socks by SOS socks!

Pre-registration is recommended since the City is limiting the number of riders. Register online at: www.myparksandrecreation.com and use activity code 75029. You can also find the Lake to Lake Bike Ride on Facebook!

What are some of your favorite trails in Bellevue?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 9:40 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

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This is a guest post by Ted Mittelstaedt, an avid bike commuter and City of Bellevue employee. Ted organizes the Lake to Lake Bike Ride which is on June 15. Check back next week for details on the ride.

Pet peeves. We all have them. Mine? I absolutely despise sitting in traffic. It’s the one thing that drives me crazy. That’s why I love riding past long lines of cars sitting in traffic. But I have to admit, I even feel a bit smug when doing so.

But that’s not why I started riding to work.

In college, like many undergrads, I rode to class and for fun. In 1983, I started riding to work and immediately fell in love with it. I’d strap my briefcase to my bike rack and off I went. I started riding to work for pure economics. I was a newlywed and my wife and I shared one car.

The only costs associated with my commute were an occasional tube and tire and a bike light I had to purchase after being pulled over for riding home at night without a light – dumb I know. The officer told me I could have the citation and fee waived if I came to the police station and proved I bought a light and installed it. It’s hard to now say that bicycling to work saves money, since I have multiple bikes and there are so many cool bike products that I really “need.”

After awhile, I noticed other benefits of riding to work. When I started to ride to work more frequently, I enjoyed the physical effort involved. Bicycle commuting combined a work out and a way to get to work. As I was riding even more, I found it was great to help get ready for an occasional race or bike event. Since I was able to get my workout in my commute, bicycling became a time efficiency tool for me.

Bicycling also helps reduce my carbon footprint. I live in Maple Valley and it is 26 miles each way to work. In my younger years, when I was bike racing, I rode the entire route on a regular basis. I now bus or drive about half way and then ride in.

When I ride to work I see things I would not normally see. It’s easier to take in your surroundings at 18 mph than it is at 60 mph on the freeway. I’ve seen deer, rabbits, bald eagles and other wild life on my bike commute, as well as some amazing sunrises and sunsets.

As a dad and supervisor of youth programs, I hope I’m setting a good example for my children and youth.

I’ve found that riding to work breaks down inhibitions and puts you in close contact with a wide cross-section of people: executives and doctors to people barely getting by.  Most bike commuters are pretty nice people.

I am starting to see an alarming trend with increasingly distracted motorists. I ride by people texting, talking on the phone, eating a bowl of cereal while driving. I’ve even encountered motorists who don’t think bikes belong on the road. I just wave and smile and try to be a good ambassador of bicycling. It’s hard to be mad at a middle age guy on a bike who is waving and smiling.

Thanks for sharing, Ted! Next time you’re stuck in traffic think how great it could feel to speed by on a bike! If you’re not sure how to get started check out our Bike page. Or send us a commute inquiry for a custom commute plan.

Do you ride your bike to work? How about the bus? Carpool, Vanpool or walk? Tell us why and we’ll spotlight your commute!

Friday, May 10th, 2013 12:30 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

Happy Bike to Work Month! If you’re new to bicycle commuter or even a veteran rider, you know there are many different components to a great bike ride: a safe route, nice weather, and tires pumped with just enough air. But there is one important and essential item we all need: a helmet that fits. Often times we take our helmet for granted, but making sure your helmet fits properly can make a huge difference in an accident.

Here are some steps to fit your helmet properly:

  1. Make sure your helmet is snug around your head. It’s not a hat, so it is not something you can just put on. Adjust the fit pads or rings so that your helmet sits on your head leveled and snug. Most helmets come with extra foam fitting pads with a top pad that can be removed or replaced with a thinner pad. Removing this pad will lower the helmet on the head to protect further down the sides of your head. Use thicker pads on the sides if there is still some space.
  2. The next step is to adjust the side straps. After leveling the helmet on your head, adjust the rear (nape) straps, then the front straps to locate the Y fitting where the straps come together. Where the straps come together should fall just under the ear.
  3. Then, adjust the chin strap until it is comfortably snug. If there is a rear stabilizer, adjust that as well.
  4. Now test it: Shake your head vigorously. The helmet shouldn’t move too much. Then push the front of the helmet up and back. If the helmet lifts more than an inch from being level then you must tighten the strap in front of your ear. Second test— reach back and pull up on the back edge. If it moves more than an inch, tighten the nape strap.

Your helmet should be level and feel snug, not too tight, on your head.

Helmet fitting is not easy and it can take a few tries, but it is worth it!

To find out more about helmet fitting, please visit: http://helmets.org/fit.htm. To find out more about commuting in and around downtown Bellevue visit: http://www.chooseyourwaybellevue.org/

And don’t forget to join us this Friday for Bike Appreciation Day! Downtown Bellevue On The Move staff will be handing out gift cards to people on bicycles throughout the day.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 2:48 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

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