Archive for May, 2015

The Strava app is currently on the bike scene and Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Jason tried it out during Bike Month. Strava allows bike riders (and walkers and runners) the ability to track their activity then share their routes and times with friends. See what Jason had to say!

Strava logoWhen I decided to give bike commuting a try  for Bike Month, I wanted an easy and inexpensive way to track my miles and compare my rides. I looked into a number of apps and onboard computers featuring GPS and I eventually settled on Strava—although as I would soon learn downloading Strava is far from settling.

Strava has received very favorable reviews, it’s widely used, I can load it onto my smart phone and it’s free, so I decided to download it and give it a try. I found the user interface to be simple, easy to use, and the trip data seems accurate. Strava lets users view their ride time, distance and average speed during the ride. Afterward users are able to compare their trip time to previous trips and the app even breaks down segments of each trip so you can see how you fared on specific sections, compared to earlier rides.Strava image phone

After a long ride home I enjoy checking to see how my time on the hill climbs compared to previous rides. The web interface is also useful and intuitive, although being completely honest, I only just checked it out for the purpose of writing this (but now I’ve bookmarked it). As is the case with the Strava app on my phone, the website lets users view their trips and provides graphs and charts which are often overlaid so you can see your speed as you ascend or descend a hill. If you’re competitive like me you’ll enjoy gaining PR’s on your rides, but Strava also lets you connect with your friends and other riders to compare how you’re keeping up with the pack.

Check out Strava online or in the App store; Strava is available on Android and IOS devices.

If you’re a multi-modal traveler you can also log your runs and walks using Strava. One warning though, as I learned after one commute home, be sure to end your trip or the app will continue to add up your miles as you walk, drive, bus, work, eat, sleep etc., all the while draining your battery.

Choose Your Way Bellevue & On The Move Bellevue

Friday, May 29th, 2015 3:38 PM | by geri | Add a Comment


Ride Transit Month Image from TCC

June is Ride Transit Month, by Transportation Choices Coalition.

What? Ride Transit Month is a month long celebration of transit riders. Whether you ride a bus, train, light rail, ferry, water taxi, or vanpool, we are in this together! Log at least four transit trips in June to be eligible for the grand prize.

Who? Everyone! Participate as an individual or as a team. Each team has a captain who recruits, leads and keeps tabs on each team member to make sure they’re staying on track, offering assistance with trip planning and being a cheerleader for the group.

Two ways to participate:

Individual Rider
Logging trips online is easy and a great motivator! If you are only interested in logging trips as an individual and want to track your trips, you can continue logging trips on your account to be eligible for the Ride Transit Month grand prize at the end of the month. One lucky winner will get $1,500 for a getaway to a destination of their choice!

Team Player
Commuting is fun as a team! If you want to create a team or be eligible for daily and weekly prizes, you are invited to create an account to take the challenge here.

Want to give transit a try? 
Try Transit and Capture Your Commute

We are encouraging commuters who live or work in Bellevue and are new to transit to Try Transit On Us and Capture Your Commute. It’s our gift to you! We have fifty $10 ORCA Cards available to new transit users*. Whether you want to commute via express bus to the office, ride to the Bellevue Collection for shopping and dining, bus to Seattle for an evening with the Mariners or try the Sound Transit Route 560 or light rail to the airport, we have your first-round trip covered.

Here’s the deal: New transit users* can apply here and we will send you a $10 ORCA card so you can try transit (subject to eligibility and supply). Participants who log their trips using On The Move Bellevue and share an image from their trip by emailing along with a caption or short story will also be entered into our Caption Your Commute contest and rewarded with a $25 TranBen voucher to reload their ORCA Card. All Capture Your Commute submissions will also be entered into a drawing for one of five $50 MasterCard gift cards.

By logging your trips in On The Move Bellevueyou’ll also be entered into the On The Move Bellevue monthly drawings. Additionally, during June, by logging at least four transit trips in On The Move Bellevue you will automatically be entered to win the grand prize fromTransportation Choices Coalition’s Ride Transit Promotion, a $1500 getaway to a destination of your choice! If you want a chance to win even more prizes you can also log your trips directly in the Ride Transit Month promotion, but be sure to continue logging in On The Move Bellevue, too.

*New users are defined as any On The Move Bellevue participant who has not used transit in the past 90 days.

Monday, May 25th, 2015 3:06 PM | by geri | Add a Comment


Meet Liudmila, one of Bellevue’s commuters:

“I ride the bus because I don’t drive. I didn’t learn how when I suppose it would have been the right time. I didn’t need to because the men always drove in my family. I’m from far eastern Russia, you see. But I turn challenges like that into benefits for myself. I like to walk and take the bus; it’s healthy. If you only drive to work all the time, you’ll get senile!

“I like the bus system. I think the ORCA Lift program is great. It’s important for low income and disabled people to have programs within their reach. It’s a great privilege for Americans to have such transportation systems. They enrich society and help to reduce rush hour traffic with everybody sitting in their car waiting all day.

“I’m on my way home now. I just had an interview and I got the job!”

Congratulations, Liudmila and enjoy the ride!

Are you a Commuter of Bellevue? CYWB staff are hitting the town to hear about your commute stories! Look for us at bus stop (or bike rack) near you!

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 9:28 AM | by geri | Add a Comment


Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer, Jason, takes on Bike Month!

Why I chose to ride
As a daily transit rider my commute is easy: I get on the bus at the Bellevue Transit Center, tap my ORCA card and then I read or chat with my bus buddy until the I reach my stop in downtown Bothell. From there it’s either a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute drive to my house. With that being said, for bike month, I thought I would shake things up a bit. I’ve spent many Saturdays riding on the Sammamish River trail with my wife and son, often riding the 8-mile roundtrip from Bothell to Woodinville for lunch. But only on rare occasions have I ventured off the trail system or the suburban streets of Bothell. That all changed last Friday, the first day of Bike Month and Cascade Bicycle Club’s Bike Month Challenge.

Actually it changed in February when I started riding the stationary bike to rehab from a soccer injury. As I started to build my endurance in the gym, I thought to myself—I can cover the 17 miles from between my office and home. But I didn’t want to commute on my mountain bike, so I sought out a quality and inexpensive road bike. I visited a couple of shops and a week before bike month started I found a two-year-old Raleigh for $450. After completing a couple of trail rides, it was finally Bike Month.

My first bike commute
On the morning of May 1st I rolled the bike out of the garage and made the short ride to the bus stop. I put my bike on the bus (always be sure you tell the driver before you mount or dismount your bike from the bus’ bike rack), and as always I cruised to Bellevue in the HOV lane. I was looking forward to my first bike commute home at the end of the day as I bussed into work with my bike on the front of the bus. At the end of my day I geared up (I find padded bike gloves, cushioned bike shorts and a helmet to be required riding gear—I also recommend wearing bright colored clothing), hit start on my Strava app to track my mileage and route and started north on 108th Ave NE.

I must admit, despite countless reassurances and conversations with cyclists in Bellevue, I was extremely nervous. But as I peddled along 108th Ave NE before turning east onto NE 12th I felt more comfortable than I had expected. There was some trepidation as I approached 116th Ave NE, where I would head north and continue to ride with traffic until I reached Northup Way. But once I turned on Northup Way and as I covered the final stretch before turning onto NE 24th to connect with 520 trail (an off street path), I experienced a sense of relief, knowing I had overcome my fear. Once connected with the 520 trail nearly the rest of my trip was on an off street path. In all the trip took me just over one hour, about 15 minutes longer than my bus/drive trip would have taken and about the same as my bus/walk commute; and I was able to skip the gym.

_DSC0184As I write, one week has passed and I have repeated this commute twice, and today’s commute will bring my total to four. I am gaining confidence, feeling empowered and wondering why I waited so long to try this. Since my first ride I have committed to investing in a couple of items to enhance the safety and comfort of my commute. As mentioned above a helmet is a must, so is a headlight that is visible up to 500 feet away and a rear reflector or red light (I recommend a red light). While I already had the items listed above, I also recommend a spare tube, bike pump, and a bright colored/reflective shirt or jacket. Additionally, a bike multi tool and tire levers are must have accessories. If you have questions about bike commuting let us know, we would be happy to share tips with you and discuss options that may work for you.

Choose Your Way Bellevue & On The Move Bellevue

Friday, May 8th, 2015 4:48 PM | by geri | Comments (1)




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