Guide to family bicycling in the Seattle area
If you aren't already the family that stays together by cycling together, now’s the perfect time to give it a whirl. With lovely weather and local cycling clubs and family groups leading the charge, it’s easier than ever to pedal to a new happy place. Don’t let the hills, busy streets or even lack of gear deter you — we'll show you how to get ready to roll.
If you're apprehensive about family biking, it helps to have an attitude of trial and resilience. You have to learn what works best for you and you have to discover what’s bikeable — be adventurous! It will pay off.
Consider carrying your little ones in child seats before graduating to a cargo trailer. Both take some getting used to, so you will want to practice to get a feel for shifts in weight and balance, the distance between you and the end of the trailer, and how long it takes to brake.
Seattle abounds in family biking programs. Familybike Seattle offers a wealth of resources, including bike expos, seminars and a full rental fleet. Pedalheads offers bike safety and skills programs for kids age 2 to 12, including summer camps, and Cascade Bicycle Club offers classes as well.
Finding the right gear
There’s no need to rush out and buy a bunch of new biking gear, but when you are thinking about looking, head to G & O Family Cyclery in Greenwood: Many cyclists tout it as the best spot to shop and try out new equipment. The Seattle Family Biking Facebook Group is another great resource. Here, find out about family meetups where you can test ride various equipment, or post a message to the group about what you’re looking for.
Where to go
City and regional bike maps are available on the Cascade Bicycle Club website. Other family friendly spots include the Burke-Gilman Trail, Bicycle Sundays (select Sundays in summer along Lake Washington Boulevard) and for kids looking to try out mountain biking, the I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Skills Park.
Happening This Month...
Bicycle Sundays, May 19, 26
This month, Bicycle Sunday returns along the shore of Lake Washington. Families can enjoy the four-mile stretch of Lake Washington Boulevard between Mount Baker Beach and Seward Park, car-free! Dates continue through September.
Kohls and Seattle Children's are working to get more kids and teens into properly fit helmets through their Safety Program. Traveling Washington state, they provide free helmet fittings and giveaways for children year-round, and teach parents and kids how to properly fit every helmet they give away. Free bike helmets are available for children 1 to 18 years old. One helmet per child, and wearers must be present and be fitted to receive a helmet. Quantities are limited. First come, first served. No appointments needed. Check the Seattle Children's website for dates.