The Online Voice of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bike Alliance Online Auction Catalog

The auction is coming, the auction is coming! Thanks to our friends at the Bicycle Paper, we have an online auction catalog! You can check out the fineries here:

For general information on the auction see:

We are continually grateful for the generous support that we receive from donors, volunteers, members and all colaborators. We are especially excited about the auction right now and extend a special thanks to auction supporters.

Today is the last day for $70 auction tickets. As of tomorrow they go up to $85 per person.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting more people on bikes

How does a bicycle group successfully get more people on bikes? There are many ways to go about it, one way is through an ad campaign. Market bicycling - show people on bikes or like everybodyBIKE did, show pictures of people who do a lot of things, including ride bikes.

I think that a lot of non-cyclists view bicycling as a sport, as something that middle aged men in Lycra do on the weekends, or as something that people are forced to do because they've either lost their drivers license or can't afford to drive. While the above assumptions may be true for some people, it certainly doesn't describe me or many of my friends and co-workers.

There are many reasons people choose to bike, some do it for the exercise, some for the environment, because it's fun, to save money and some because they don't have another vehicle. I think that if we want to be successful in getting more people of all ages, males and females on bikes, then we need to show images of all types of people who are bicyclists.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bike Maps

Are you ready to try biking to work or school but you're unsure of a decent route?  Are you interested in finding new bike trails to explore?  Maybe you want to explore a particular part of the state by bike but you're not familiar with the area.

There's a good chance that there's a bike map out there that can assist you with planning your routes and adventures.  Many of our cities and counties have produced bike maps that show routes commonly used by bicyclists.  They can help you find low-traffic streets, streets with bike lanes or shoulders, and local bike trails.  There's even a state bike map produced by WSDOT.

Do you live in Vancouver and work in Portland?  You're in luck!  The City of Vancouver has a bike map that includes bike routes in Portland.  You can request a hard copy of the bike map or view it online.  Check here for details.

Maybe you're a freshman at Western Washington University and you brought your bike to campus but you're not familiar with Bellingham area.  No worries.  Just get your hands on the Bellingham and Whatcom County bike maps.

Are you itching to explore the John WayneTrail or the Olympic Discovery Trail?  Maybe you'd like to spend time touring the Columbia River Gorge or the Walla Walla wine country.  There are maps to assist you with route finding.

A section of the Bicycle Alliance website is dedicated to bike maps.  You’ll find links to many bike and trail maps, most of which can be viewed and downloaded.  You’ll also find links to sites that allow users to post their favorite bike rides and map their own routes.  Check it out!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Last Chance for a Deal!

Everyone loves a deal, right?  The Bicycle Alliance has a couple of special deals that end this week on September 30.

$5 Membership Deal

A membership in the Bicycle Alliance is an investment in yourself!  While you’re out riding your bike, we’re bringing bike safety skills training into schools across the state, educating new and seasoned drivers on how to share the road safely with bicyclists and pedestrians, advocating for public policy that benefits bicycling, and more!  Join by September 30 and your initial investment is just $5.  Use our online membership form and coupon code 5BMA1.

Early Bird Special on Auction Tickets

Our annual auction is a month away on October 22 and we’re offering an early bird price of $70 per person/$700 for a table of ten until September 30.  After that, prices are $85/$850.  Check our auction page for the details.

The auction is all about fun and fundraising.  Catch up with old friends and make some new ones as we raise money to support bicycle advocacy and education in Washington State!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Annual Auction: It's a Gear Changing Celebration!

It’s a season of change.  Children are swapping pool days for school days.  We’re transitioning from summer to fall.  Political changes may be on the horizon with November’s election.

So why not join the Bicycle Alliance of Washington for a gear changing celebration—our annual auction!  Join us for some fun and fundraising as we work to shift gears in favor of bicycling around Washington State.

This year’s event is on October 22 at Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion, and now’s the time to get your tickets.  We’re offering an early bird special--$70 per person if you purchase tickets by September 30.  Purchase a table of ten for $700 and bring nine of your friends with you.  Check our auction page for details.

The auction is fun!  There are silent and live auctions, a split-the-pot raffle, wine grab bag, and dessert dash.  We expect around 300 guests and you’ll have time to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

Eric Mamroth, fellow cyclist and auctioneer extraordinaire, is our man again.  Chris Cameron, owner of Rosebud Bicycle Builds, will serve as our emcee.  There are appetizers and a sit down dinner prepared by Foodz Catering and expertly served to you by members of COGS –Cyclists of Greater Seattle.  We’re pouring beer from Pike Brewing Company and serving an assortment of Washington wines.

So what is there to bid on?  How about a 3-night stay in a Methow Valley cabin (2 bedroom cabin can sleep up to 8 people) or a weekend of cycling in Southwest Washington for 4 people that includes a stay in a private guest house and gourmet meals?

Are you a powder hound?  We have a one-week condo stay in Vail in December for the holidays (December 24-30)!  This one bedroom condo comes equipped with a kitchen and sleeps up to 5 adults.  Enjoy spectacular downhill runs and world class cross country ski trails in the Rocky Mountains of Vail by day, then relax in the sauna or soak in the outdoor hot tub afterward.  Special thanks to board member David McLean and his family for this one!

Perhaps you’re partial to lovely handcrafted items.  We have this beautiful, hand pieced quilt created by our Spokane board member and quilter Eileen Hyatt.

And this handsomely built wood bench burnished with chain rings created by Jesse Knutson of Independent Woodworks.

We have a CascadeBicycle Club Passport (membership and entries to their event rides), an awesome camping package from REI, a Primal Wear cycling kit, Tifosi Optics sunglasses, a kayak rolling lesson, a Utilikilt, tickets to the ballet, symphony and theatre, entries to bike rides, and more!  Yes, the Davidson titanium frame is back--thanks to Elliott Bay Bicycles!

Orderyour tickets now and join us for the annual auction—it’s a gear changing celebration!  Check our auction page for more information.

Thanks to our auction sponsors:
John Duggan, Cycling Attorney
Seattle Children's Hospital - Research - Foundation
SvR Design
Third Place Books
Pike Brewing Company

Kat Marriner Graphic Design

Cyclists of Greater Seattle (COGS)       

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spontaneous Interactions

Perhaps one of my favorite things about bicycling is the possibility for spontaneous interactions. You know, like when you're biking to the store and you see a friend walking their dog, you both stop and chat for awhile, having a meaningful dialog. That wouldn't happen if you were both in a car, you'd possibly see each other and wave, but there would be no interaction. Or meeting someone at the bike rack, you're both locking or unlocking your bikes and you chat for a bit.  Maybe it's small talk or maybe it's deeper than that.  Either way, I can't remember the last time, if ever, I've had a conversation with the car driver parked next to me. I'm sure we've all experienced this, I'd love to hear your story about an amazing spontaneous interaction you've had while on your bike.

I will leave you with one I think my daughter planned. On a Saturday morning my almost 9 year old daughter and I were going to go to the grocery store. She asked if we were going to take the car or the bikes and I told her the car.

"No, let's take the bikes," she says.

"Okay," I reply, happy to oblige and happy that she wanted to bike, even if I was hungry.

As we head down our hill and get ready to cross over the bike/ped bridge that takes us into the neighboring streets she says, "I wonder if Suzzy will be outside, we can say hi to her if she is".

Suzzy (not her real name), is a good friend of my daughter and her parents are good friends of mine. We often walk or bike to and from school together or to the farmers market. They live a few blocks away near a trail and if we bike or walk anywhere we go past their house. If we drive the car, we take another route. It just so happens that Suzzy was outside that morning, we talked for awhile and tentatively set up an afternoon play date.

I couldn't help thinking that maybe, just maybe, Izabelle wanted to bike because she knew there was a good likelihood her friend would be outside and that we'd stop and chat. She knew there was a possibility for a spontaneous interaction that couldn't take place if we drove. I didn't ask her if that was what she was thinking, because she probably wouldn't admit it even if it were true. Even if that wasn't her intention and she just wanted to bike because she loves biking, then great! If she did plan it, I couldn't be happier. It means that she has learned one of the best things about bicycling: spontaneous interactions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Calling all artists and bicyclists: Share the Road t-shirt design contest

Now more than ever, we need to promote the message of “Share the Road” to increase safety for all roadway users.  The Bicycle Alliance of Washington invites you to put your creativity to work by entering our Share the Road t-shirt design contest.  Deadline is October 14, 2011.

Share the Road is more than a public campaign to increase awareness and safety.  It’s the law.  RCW 46.61.755 states:

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in RCW 46.61.750 through 46.61.780 and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

In 2006 the Department of Licensing created the special “Share the Road” license plate which reminds motorists and bicyclists to share the road. Proceeds from the sale of this special plate support the advocacy and education programs of the Bicycle Alliance.

In communities throughout Washington, transportation departments post signs to remind road users to share the road with each other.

You can help us take this message another step further by submitting a design for our Share the Road t-shirt design contest.  The winner will receive a $100 REI gift card.  Contest details are here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Volunteers Needed for Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Count

Washington State Department of Transportation will be counting bicyclists and pedestrians across the state on September 27, 28 and 29, and volunteers are needed to assist with this effort.  Counts will be assembled from all over the state, but focused on several cities including:  Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bothell, Bremerton, Burien, Ellensburg, Everett, Ferndale, Issaquah, Kelso, Kent, Kirkland, Longview, Lynden, Mercer Island, Mountlake Terrace, Oak Harbor, Olympia, Redmond, Renton, Richland Seattle, Shoreline, Spokane, Tacoma, Tukwila, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima.  Information about the statewide count can be found here.

WSDOT is working with the Cascade Bicycle Club to coordinate volunteers.  If you’re interested in volunteering contact:

Ian Macek
Phone: 360.705. 7596

Tessa Greegor
Phone: 206.204.0913

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Presentation on the Safe Routes to School Bike and Pedestrian Statewide Education Program in Washington

Photographs by the author.

The Bicycle Alliance of Washington, in collaboration with Feet First, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is delivering a two year, grant-supported safe bicycling and walking education program to middle school students across the state. “It provides bicycle and pedestrian safety education to students in Grades 5-8 in approximately 25 school districts across the state.”

At the Safe Routes to School National Conference in Minneapolis Seth Schromen-Wawrin (Bicycle Alliance of Washington), Jen Cole (Feet First) and Charlotte Claybrook (the Washington State DOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator) presented on the statewide program. The presentation was on Thursday morning August 18, 2011 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The presentation was fun and informative and the presenters did an excellent job engaging the audience.

Charlotte Claybrooke and Seth Schromen-Wawrin address the audience.

Jen Cole talks about curriculum and teacher training.

Jen Cole launching into her presentation on "Eyeballs" the interactive classroom game played with ping pong balls.

More "Eyeballs."

And more "Eyeballs."

Audience members play "Captain Barclay."
The game is on!
It's getting more serious...

Participants on the edge of their seats.

The charade round of "Captain Barclay."

Playing Captain Barclay con gusto.
As you can see, Jen, Charlotte and Seth did an excellent job of making the presentation interactive and informative and engaging the audience in active learning. More information about Washington's State-wide Safe Routes to School program can be found here:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Join us for a gear changing celebration!

October 22, 2011
Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion
Silent auction starts at 5:30pm
Dinner served at 7:00pm

Help the Bicycle Alliance of Washington shift gears for bicycle advocacy statewide by joining us at our annual fundraiser on October 22!  Proceeds from this event support our advocacy and education efforts statewide.  These funds help us deliver Safe Routes to School services to districts around Washington and make it possible for us to bring our Hub & Spoke events to bike advocates in their communities.  They help us shift the gears of government policies and change the minds of legislators.

Fun is a given at the auction.  Besides the silent and live auctions, there is a dessert dash, wine grab bag, and a split-the-pot raffle.  Nearly 300 friends of bicycling attend this gala and there’s ample time to socialize, catch up with old friends and meet new ones!

Donations needed!
We're still accepting auction donations and we need a variety of items that will generate spirited bidding.  We'd welcome any of the following donations and more:  restaurant and retail gift cards, themed gift baskets, massages and spa treatments, yoga and pilates classes, acupuncture treatments, unique experiences, tickets to theater and sporting events, and cash donations.  Use our handy online donation form to submit your information  or contact Louise McGrody if you have questions.

Purchase tickets!
Tickets are $70 each or $700 for a table of ten--if purchased by September 30.  After that date, prices are $85/$850.  Tickets may be purchased online, by check, or by calling Donna Govro at 206.224.9252 x300.  Check our auction page for more details.

We rely on volunteers to help make this event a success.  We need volunteers to help with event set up, clean up, registration, check out, serving food, and much more.  Contact Matt Lyman if you'd like to help out.

Check our auction page for additional information or call 206.224.9252.  We're looking forward to seeing you on October 22!

Thanks to our auction sponsors:
John Duggan, Cycling Attorney
Seattle Children's Hospital - Research - Foundation
Third Place Books
Pike Brewing Company

Kat Marriner Graphic Design
Cyclists of Greater Seattle (COGS)       

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why I Joined the BAW Board of Directors

Mary disguised as her alter ego, Sprocket Hero.
About two years ago I got a call from acting executive director Dave Janis. He asked if I might consider applying for the BAW Board of Directors. After giving it some thought I decided to apply. I liked the idea of being on a Board with lots of other bicycle enthusiasts. It sounded fun and the thought that I could help make Washington a better place for bicyclists was alluring. Plus, it's nice to be part of something bigger than oneself, part of something that is making a positive change in the world.

Weather you bike for transportation, recreation, fitness or fun, I'm sure you love it. Some of us love it a little more than others, these are the people we need on the Board. People who are enthusiastic about bicycling and making Washington a better place to bike for everyone. People who want to see more kids biking to school, more adults biking to work and more people trying a century ride.

Each board member has a different story and brings different abilities to the table. Some of us are comfortable talking with our legislators and lobbying for the rights of cyclists in Olympia, some of us aren't. Some of us teach bicycle education to kids, others wouldn't know what to do with a group of kids on bikes. Our interests and abilities are as vast as the citizens of Washington, but we have one thing that unites us: BIKES.

We need a few more outstanding citizens to join our Board of Directors. Could you be one of them?

Current geographical ares we need representation from include: Yakima, Wenatchee and Kitsap/Olympic Peninsula. If you don't live in those areas but are still interested in applying, please do so!

A passion for our work, the ability to lead with a team, and time to devote to board responsibilities are a must. Prior board and business experience is a plus. Ready to apply? Please submit a letter of interest with credentials to by September 30.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bicycle Alliance Endorses Streets for All Campaign to fund Active Transportation and Transit in Seattle

This post was submitted by Blake Trask, Statewide Policy Director.
Join us at the Campaign Kick-Off TOMORROW, Tuesday, September 13!

Today the Bicycle Alliance of Washington Board announced its endorsement of Seattle’s Proposition 1 – a 10-year $204 million package of investments in bicycling, walking, road repair, maintenance, and transit.

These investments are significant because they prioritize family-friendly bike infrastructure, increases in safety for everyone with new sidewalks, better crosswalks, repave and repair local streets to make them work better for everyone. For each year of its 10-year life, Proposition 1 will directly dedicate $1.4 million to bicycle improvements, $3 million for pedestrian and neighborhood improvements, up to $7 million in roadway maintenance improvements that can include Complete Streets elements, and close to $10 million in transit improvements.

In short, Proposition 1 represents a new way of funding transportation – one that prioritizes safer streets, more Complete Streets, and better transit, too.

To ensure investments in biking are effectively implemented, the Bicycle Alliance endorsement includes our commitment to carefully follow and monitor implementation activities.

For additional information and volunteer opportunities, visit

Thanks and see you tomorrow!

2012 Legislative Agenda Set

The Bicycle Alliance board approved a set of 2012 legislative priorities as recommended by the Legislative & Statewide Issues Committee.  Our agenda will include:
  •  Continued support of HB1700, which carries over from 2011 and would encourage higher-quality bike and pedestrian facilities by allowing greater flexibility in design standards.
  •  Continued support of HB1217, which would give cities and counties the authority to establish 20 mph zones on some non-arterial streets to lower accident rates and protect vulnerable users.
  • Work with other non-profits to support a transportation funding package called Transportation for Washington.
  • Work with WSDOT and others to support funding for the Complete Streets bill passed in 2011.
  • Use 2012-2013 to see if there is support for a 3-5’ safe passing bill and, if so, build a coalition of support.
Please check the Legislative Page at or read our blog for more information and updates.  And mark your calendars now for 2012 Transportation Advocacy Day in Olympia on January 31!