36 Years as the Northwest Cycling Authority
July 2007

Visiting Historic Seattle by Bike

Tai Lee

Downtown Seattle, as seen from Sturgus Park with the Equality Sculpture in the foreground. Photo by Bicycle Paper.

Ibike Tours offers an alternative to travelers who want to venture off the beaten path. We were recently invited to participate in the Seattle Heritage Bicycle Tour, led by Ibike’s founder David Mozer. As a major cultural, commercial, and immigration hub in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle offers much to discover. On a sunny spring day, the bicycle is the perfect mode of transportation to explore the city.

The tour takes about four hours and covers roughly ten miles. Along the way we were treated to snapshots of Seattle as it appeared throughout history. As the route snakes through the heart of the city, participants should be comfortable riding in traffic. Snacks and water come in handy during the stops along the route. There is plenty of time to relax and catch one’s breath.

Civilization’s greatest influence on the region has perhaps been the molding of the city’s terrain to suit its needs. Cyclists, who are usually very aware of the lay of the land, can be glad that many hills in Seattle are not as steep as they historically were.

Along the route, our guide pointed out many archaeological artifacts, which I had walked by daily without really being aware of their existence. Music buffs would appreciate the landmarks that chronicle the rise of world-famous artists, such as Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. David’s knowledge surrounding the impacts of cultural minority groups is especially impressive. Native Americans, Asians, African-Americans, Europeans, and many other groups have left lasting legacies on the Emerald City.

David’s encyclopedic knowledge was as amazing to an out-of-town tourist as it was to a Seattle resident like myself. The best part of this tour is that the participants set the pace. As we saw tourists zip by in buses and amphibious crafts, we appreciated the intimacy that seeing the city by bicycle afforded us.

For more information check out www.ibike.org/ibike/seattle/.

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