SEATTLE, DAY 6: NOV 4, 2015 (WED). Cycling in Seattle


I usually bike around the destination, at least, one day when I travel for a long period. I like cycling, plus bicycle is an efficient and healthy way to look around the city. Definitely, the range is wider than walking or public transportation. I can move anytime I want to, and I don’t have to worry about time schedule or routes. The bike has been a good trend overall, and rent-a-bike is available in many places now. When I went to New Mexico for a week in 2012, I enjoyed cycling in Santa Fe and Taos. I don’t have high-end bike or gear back in New York City, but I do cycle regularly. I normally ride for about 30-40 miles on the weekend.

So cycling was on my to-do-list in Seattle. Fortunately, my host had a Raleigh bike, and he kindly let me use his bike to go around the city. Wednesday weather was sunny just as forecast, so I enjoyed with the bike on that day.

Seattle had many bike paths and lanes, but it wasn’t really a good place for cycling because of the hilly landscape. San Francisco was steeper, but Seattle was steep also. And Seattle had more up and downs because the land was larger than San Francisco. I felt New Mexico was easier than Seattle even with higher altitude. Or maybe I just got older…?

I knew I wanted to go along the piers and ocean front with the bike. So my plan was to go along the bay, my favorite Ballard again, to the South Lake Union along the Lake Union, and Montlake if time permitted. The weather was beautifully sunny as forecast.

My bike route in Seattle

I passed through Chinatown and proceeded to the Bay. I rode on Alaska Way and Elliott Avenue to the northwest along the bay because bike path was under construction. I took the bike path to Smith Cove Marina from Myrtle Edwards Park. Smith Cover Marina was peaceful, I enjoyed the marina view overlooking downtown.

Spectacular view from Smith Cove Marina

Near the cruise terminal (Pier 91), I saw a very interesting freight train with…4 main bodies of pre-assembled Boeing 737! I think they were carried to Renton factory for final assembly, but I had never seen that kind of view. Before I thought the body would be manufactured in Boeing factory, my thought was…is that the way to carry airplane? By freight train? Wow.


A freight train carrying 4 pre-assembled bodies of B737

I continued Gilman Avenue to the northwest. I visited Ballard Locks because my host suggested me to visit. It was like Panama Canal, made ships possible to move between river and ocean by adjusting water level. I could cross the lock by walking, but had to disembark bike. For more info, please see

Ballard Lock

I passed through Ballard Avenue again. It was really a nice street with full of amazing stores. I crossed Ballard Bridge then proceeded on the bike path along the Lake Union to the South Lake Union and Eastlake. I took a break at Westlake Greenbelt and enjoyed the beautiful fall foliage.

Fall foliage at Westlake Greenbelt
Lake Union

I crossed Montlake from north to south as I got interested as few days ago, but the steep slope was really tough as I imagined. I don’t lie, I had to walk most part of it. Montlake was beautiful by looking from outer area, but I felt it was just ok from a street.

I went down Broadway to home. The evening view of downtown and stadiums were beautiful from nearby viewpoint without obstacle.

Seattle night view from the south side of downtown
Safeco Field

The 23 miles bike ride was so much fun! It was really healthy Seattle highlight sightseeing.