SEATTLE, WA (BRAIN) — Before crossing Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island to visit BI Cycle and Classic Cycle, Day 2 of BRAIN’s Seattle Dealer Tour got under way with a sampling of urban riding highlighting the accomplishments of local advocates as well as the challenges they face in fostering two-wheel transit here.
Straight from our hotel base, we embarked on a stretch of Westlake Avenue where the designated cycling route consists largely of an aisle in a crowded parking lot off the waterfront. Here, advocacy group Cascade Bicycle Club seeks to establish a dedicated bike path to open up cycling on a major arterial flat enough to accommodate a wide range of bike commuters.
After our visit to performance road and training shop Herriott Sports Performance, the Dealer Tour pedaled up and over the semi-protected bike lane on Dexter Avenue, where public-transit stops are set on concrete islands several feet away from the curb to make way for cyclists. The well-traveled lane is viewed as a major win in the local cycling community.
We took Dexter to reach the freshly relocated Velo bike shop downtown, on the ground floor of high-rise apartment building Via6. In addition to being a well-stocked and elegantly designed shop (we recommend warming up in front of the gas fireplace on particularly cold mornings), Velo has secure indoor parking for 150 bikes. Owner Lloyd Tamura said Via6’s developer is a longtime customer who had a vision for an apartment development that included a bike shop and a bicycle club with indoor bike parking and showers for commuters.
Additionally, across the street from Velo the new Amazon.com headquarters under construction promises to bring Seattle its first fully protected cycle path, along Seventh Avenue.