Last Saturday, I attended a "Seattle Bike Blogger" meet up. The meeting was encouraged by Paul, our local Bike Intelligencer blogger, to put our heads together and come up with-- well, something.
Boat Launch on Alki
The consensus (as it seemed to me) was that we bloggers have the advantage of being social organizers without the politics, waivers, expense and red tape of bigger organizations such as the Cascade Bicycle Club. While Cascade puts on fantastic events (Seattle to Portland ride, Bike Swap, Bike to Work Month and more) and can be credited for getting people movin' and groovin' on their bikes-- they do not have the ability to put on smaller, more intimate-scale, low-key, pop-up events. This is also the difference between Seattle and Portland.
Here in Seattle-- we like structure and rules. We pay the registration, sign the waivers, dump a paycheck at Gregg's Cycles (disclosure: I work there!), and ride laps around Mercer Island (home to Bill Gates) before riding from Seattle to Portland with 10,000 other people who may or may not know how to handle their bikes and finally declare ourselves "cyclists." But what about everyone else? What about riders who ride plain clothes, or with their children, or on single speeds, or on single track, or cargo bikes, or just some rickety thing they bought off of Craig's List but they love it and ride it to every corner of the city, to coffee, to work, and the bar? If you ride a bike, but don't relate to the cover of Bicycling Magazine, what culture is here for you?
Now, I don't want to say that Seattle has ZERO non-lycra bike culture. Mike, from Seattle Likes Bikes, rattled off a list of bike culture groups, events and rides that fall into just this category we're interested in. We just want more of it and to bring it all together. Seattle, after all, is pretty big. Portland is more like a town.
So, what do you think? What kind of bike culture would you like to see more of in Seattle?