Hello! I'm new to city cycling!

Heya,

My name's Victoria Gasco. I just moved to Capitol Hill from Mid-Michigan a week-ish ago! I moved here to experience a big city and also to attend Skagit Valley Community College in a year or two. 

I would like to know if there are any cyclist around my area who would like to show me the do's-and-don'ts of city riding! I've only lived and ridden in a small town before and some of the roads around here are a little different to me. 

If you're interested email me at "gascovictoria@gmail.com" please! 

Thanks, 

Tori (nickname)

I live in Capitol Hill too. The essentials. Helmet & Lights. I usually wear Bike Gloves too. A good grip is a must. Always ride in the Bike Lanes. If you wear a Messenger Bag of some kind. And it's less than sunny,I use a blinky. It stays clipped on my bag full time wether I'm lit up or not. Be aware,cars and buses can't always stop as fast as you can. ALWAYS lock your bike. Seattle has a HIGH bike theft rate. Maintain your bike too. I use Velo on 6th & Blanchard. They used to be on Cap Hill. But had to move. Their service is great. Seattle has Hills. So check your brakes and cables every few months.

Hi Victoria,
Welcome to the Northwest.

I'd be careful with the always ride in bike lanes advise, and not to slam on j.Silverfox either.

You see, Washington doesn't have a mandatory bike lane use law. What the law says (and you might want to google the Revised Code of Washington up) is that a cyclist traveling less than the normal and regular speed of traffic at that time and place shall ride as near to the right edge of the rightmost lane as is safe, except when preparing to make or making turning movements.

  The key words are As Is Safe. Your safety is the most important thing, you are not required to endanger yourself.

Some of those bike lanes are what we call door zone bike lanes, and those are dangerous. You see, a car door opens about four to almost five feet. If someone throws a door open in your way and you hit it, it tends to throw you out to the left into the travel lanes and could put you right under the path of a vehicle. If you have time to swerve, you could also swerve into the way of someone driving and get hit.
The best , safest, and legal thing to do is to ride at least six feet away from parked cars. If that takes you to the left of a bike lane, so be it. You have every right to be there. Notice that the law is only for riding less than the speed of normal and regual traffic, at the speed of traffic it is entirely legal and very safe to ride in the travel lane. Riding down our steep hills you need the room to manuver, so use the lane. Those bike lanes are somewhat problematic when at speed. You don't want someone to drive next to you at the same speed because you have no room if you need to swerve to avoid something.
People see very well in a 20 degree arc in front of them, not so well to the sides. Riding as far right as you can , will sometimes put you out of that vision sweet spot and you don't get seen. People don't want to hit you, and they won't if they see you.
Be careful when riding into intersections, the right hook hit is quite common in city riding, take a position more to the center or even left side of the lane when you ride into an intersection to prevent people from trying to pass you and take a right turn into you.

Cascade does have a pretty good class just for city riding, it's called urban cycling. Well worth taking the class, and you get a price break if you join the club.

Again, welcome, and I hope this helps.
Gears to you.....leo
 

Victoria, thought I'd post this up, talking about door zone bike lanes, you can see how deadly these are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CudJvSbS2aY