News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

 

Is Fremont Center Of Seattle’s Bike Universe?

February 17th, 2012 by master

It’s the question posed by Seattle Bike Blog in the wake of yet another bicycle shop opening in town (Recycled Cycles) and news that high-end custom bike builders Cascade Bicycle Studio is stepping things up by holding open hours.

And that’s just the tip of the bicycle iceberg, as SBB explains:

This means in just one week, Fremont has emerged as the clear bike shop center of Seattle with five bike shops (Wright Bros, Free Range, CBS, Recycled and Speedy Reedy) in just a 15-block stretch, all within a few blocks of the Burke-Gilman Trail. Mad Fiber makes its world-famous high-end carbon wheels in the old Essential Baking factory, and the Google team that lead the Google Maps bike directions project is based in the company’s Fremont offices. And, of course, there’s Fremont’s iconic Solstice naked bike ride (maybe NSFW).

Meanwhile, Fremont Brewing has emerged as a favorite bicycle destination (it’s bike rack is nearly always full) and Fremont Coffee has had a big bicycling clientele for years. And let’s not forget Theo Chocolate’s awesome Bicycle Benefits. You can begin to see the power of the bicycle economy. When people feel safe biking somewhere, local businesses start making efforts to encourage biking, then more people bike, and on and on…

It’s a strong case, especially when you throw in the new bicycle lanes up and down Fremont Ave and 34th Street and the bike runnel on the 41st St. Bridge.

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Check Out The New Bike Lanes On 34th Street

August 18th, 2011 by master

They’ve been up for a little while but I figured I’d post some pics of the new green bike lanes on 34th Street.

There are bike lanes going East and West that allow cyclists clear and easy access to certain parts of the road and delineate clear stopping points at red lights.

With the rash of recent accidents involving cars and bicycles (and the scooter accident across the street from these lanes), it’s extremely timely and should hopefully cut down on issues between drivers and cyclists in the busy intersection.

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Bicyclists To ‘Haul Ash’ Through Fremont May 15th

May 10th, 2011 by master

As a remembrance of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Red Hook Brewery will hold the 16th annual “Haul Ash” Tour de Brew bicycle ride – a 42-mile, round-trip excursion between the current Red Hook Brewery (14300 NE 145th St) and Fremont, the birthplace of Red Hook, on Sunday, May 15th.

Fremont is expected to have heavier than usual bicycle traffic, especially on N 36th near LTD Bar and Grill, which is the half way stop point for the ride.

After departing Redhook riders will turn left, cross the bridge and head north on the Sammamish River Trail. Riders will meander along the Sammamish River Trail until it becomes the Burke-Gilman Trail. Views of Lake Washington, the University of Washington and Lake Union inspire riders to the midway point. Upon arriving in Fremont riders will turn right off of the Burke-Gilman trail onto Phinney Ave N. and continue North towards N. 36th Street. At the intersection of Phinney Ave and N. 36th Street,riders will take a left and continue halfway down the block to LTD Bar and Grill, the midway point, located on the left side of the street at 309 N. 36th Street.

Admission to the after-Party is included in the rider registration fee. The after-Party is also open to the public with a suggested entry donation of $5. Proceeds benefit Seattle’s Bike Works non-profit organization.

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‘Beyond Naked’ Follows Those Who Dare To Go Bare In Fremont Solstice Parade

April 13th, 2011 by master

When discussing the Fremont Solstice Parade with a group of people, the conversation will eventually veer towards a specific question.

Would you?

Would you get naked, slather yourself in paint, hop on a bike and ride publicly through town as thousands of onlookers cheered you on?

There’s a new documentary in the works right now that follows four intrepid individuals who answered “Yes.”

Beyond Naked Trailer from Dan McComb on Vimeo.

Beyond Naked explores what happens when four first-time participants accept a challenge to ride naked in the 2011 Fremont Solstice Parade, Seattle’s annual celebration of summer and self-expression. The film will also explore our deep-rooted fear (and awkward fascination with) nakedness and what we can learn about ourselves when we dare to drop trou.

I chatted with the film’s director, Dan McComb, about the project, how it’s being filmed and what he’s hoping to get out of the experience.

FremU: What is Beyond Naked about and where did the idea come from?

DM: If you ask someone on the street whether they’ve heard of the Fremont Solstice Parade, the frequent reply is: “You mean the naked bikers?” How is it that a rogue group of loosely organized, unpaid individuals have managed to become synonymous with the parade? And why here, when cities like San Diego have blocked rides from starting by threatening participants with arrest?

As the title implies, we hope this film (in addition to being a lighthearted adventure) can shift the conversation about artistic nudity from one focused on whether people should be allowed to be naked in public, to a deeper exploration of self-expression, artistic license and personal freedom.

I became fascinated with the Fremont Solstice Cyclists in 2003, when, after much arm-twisting from my friends, I accepted a challenge to ride naked in the parade with a group of about 60 other cyclists. It was a scary, exhilarating and transformative experience that made a lasting impression on me. Last year, an estimated 650 cyclists rode, and if the weather’s good this year, some organizers predict as many as 1,000 cyclists.

I attended Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School last year, where the legendary director told me: “if something fascinates you, you must do it.” I gave myself two additional requirements for finding an idea for my first feature-length film: It had to be about something I have a personal connection to. And it had to be reachable within walking distance of my house in Fremont. As I watched last year’s Solstice Parade with Herzog’s words ringing in my ears, I realized this was my story.

Jeff Hedgepeth is one of the brave souls featured in Beyond Naked.

[Read more →]

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Tour de Fat Saturday at Gas Works Park

July 30th, 2010 by master

Only one lucky Seattleite (or someone who lives in the area) will receive “a New Belgium, fully-loaded, hand-crafted, Fort Collins-built commuter bike” on stage in the closing ceremony of the Seattle stop of the 13-city Tour de Fat in return for taking the leap of donating his/her gas-guzzling vehicle to benefit a nonprofit; but more than 4,000 people and their families are expected to descend on Gas Works Park for the full day of events, including a bike parade.

The ride is free, but a $5 donation goes toward bicycle and environmental charities – and you receive a beer in return for your token that’s good for next year’s tour too.

Image courtesy of New Belgium

So, the last thing you want to do is drive your car in the surrounding streets. Bike! But if you do, try to print out this form and drop it off at the registration tent so you don’t have to wait in line.

Here’s the schedule, starting at 9 a.m.:

9: Bike Parade Registration
10: Bike Parade
11: Performances Begin
1:30: Funeral procession for the car belonging to the Car-for-Bike Trade volunteer
3:30: Car-for-Bike Trade Celebration
4: Curtain Closes

On the web site, New Belgium lays out “The Ten Commandments of the Tour de Fat.” We think No.4 is especially apropos for a neighborhood that hosts the Solstice Parade:

Thou shall come as a participant not a spectator: It’s a costumed celebration of human-powered transportation. Muscles not motors, coasters, v-brakes and rotors. Come in your favorite alter ego, because when everybody’s weird, no one is.

Maybe next year, you too can see if you can take the plunge and apply for the trade and extol the virtues of why you think you could go car-free on video.

The chosen few become shining examples pro-bike commuting culture:

By agreeing to trade your polluting car for a new bike and committing to sparkle motion, human-powered transport, on stage at Tour de Fat, you become an inspiration to the congregation and beyond. Your vehicular cleansing is filmed, as are your car-free trials and triumphs over the following year, causing thousands to idolize your efforts and begin commuting by bike (we hope).

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Thousands answer call to Bike to Work today

May 21st, 2010 by master

Thousands more bicyclists than usual will be riding today, because it’s the annual Bike to Work Day.

Cascade Bicycle Club has teamed up with a number of other businesses to provide 44 commute stations throughout the region, offering freebies like water bottles and snacks, providing information on cycling, and some even have bicycle technicians ready to fix your flat tire.

In Fremont, hundreds of cyclists stopped to grab free goodies, including water bottles and safety lights from Bike to Work sponsor F5, as well as bike bells and socks from Smartwool (if you were willing to trade in the pair you were wearing).
Fremont commute

At about 7:30 a.m., 100+ riders followed Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn up Dexter Avenue and into downtown Seattle for a Cascade Bicycle Club bike rally outside City Hall.
McGinn presser bike to work day

If you took any pictures on your way into work, please share them with us! (e-mail tips@fremontuniverse.com)

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Tell us your biking stories

May 21st, 2010 by master

Our sister site, Maple Leaf Life, posted this story earlier today (we’ve tweaked it a little bit for Fremont!):

Today, Bike to Work Day, we and our news partners The Seattle Times are wondering just how safe you are in getting from here to there on two wheels.

We’re also looking for commute stories, not just from today, but any good tales of biking to work. Or, for that matter, from people who would rather NOT share the road with bikes.

In honor of National Bike to Work Day, The Times has put together ten worst examples of dangerous or neglected cycling corridors in Seattle. They also have a big “Seattle bike culture” story in Pacific Magazine this Sunday.

Fremont isn’t on that worst 10 list, nor are the usual routes from here to downtown, unless you commute through the north end of the University Bridge.

Here’s one you might identify with, though – the Burke-Gilman Trail at 25th Avenue Northeast. The “missing link” of the trail in Ballard and the south end of the Ballard Bridge are on the list, too.

Other hot spots on the Times list:

  • Sodo bikeway to nowhere
  • Ruts on Jackson Street
  • Bellevue gap in 520 trail
  • North Linden Street (Shoreline)
  • Marysville to Everett
  • Second Avenue

Tell us your bike stories.

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F5 Bike to Work Day: Friday

May 20th, 2010 by master

You’re going to hear a lot about cycling this month – and you already have, through the Via Tribunali 5@5 specials, the Spoke & Food – and now this: F5 Bike to Work Day!

So, try to keep your car/scooter/hog in park tomorrow, resist the bus (or combine it with a bike commute), get off your feet and let your wheels advocate for alternative transportation!

From 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday, May 21, to celebrate Bike Month in May, Puget Sound residents are invited to join the 12,000+-strong Cascade Bicycle Club at this year’s Bike to Work Day sponsored by F5. (Seattle-based F5 is “the global leader in Application Delivery Networking and a network appliances company that assists information technology organizations in adapting and realigning with changing business demands within the IT infrastructure.”)

The F5 Bike to Work Day Rally will kick off at 7:30 a.m. outside Seattle City Hall. Speakers will do their spiels, but while they do their thing, you can enjoy music, free water bottles and maps. In 2009, Bike to Work Day rallied nearly 20,000 bike commuters.

Bicycle commuters can stop by one of 44 designated commute stations located throughout King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties for commuting information, snacks, Cascade Bicycle Club materials and swag. Participants may enter the F5 Bike to Work Day drawing to win prizes, including a bicycle and bike gear. They can also have their bikes spot-checked by the bike shop station sponsors.

Founded in 1970, Cascade Bicycle Club is a 12,000+ member, nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington, serving more than half a million cyclists in the Puget Sound community. The club is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors, 22 professional staff, and thousands of volunteers. More information about Cascade Bicycle Club’s advocacy, commute and education programs is available online or by calling (206) 522-3222.

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Spoke and Food combines cycling and eating

May 20th, 2010 by master

Spoke and Food is a new event designed to let cyclists get their exercise, and a reward of a nice meal, coupled with a donation to charity. Ride your bike to a participating restaurant on Tuesday, June 29, and the restaurant will donate 15-20 percent of the profits to Lettuce Link, a program of Solid Ground.

The main goals of Spoke & Food this year are to motivate our community to use their bicycles as they dine out and to improve access to healthy food for all by supporting Lettuce Link, an innovative food and gardening program growing and giving since 1988. Lettuce Link creates access to fresh, nutritious and organic produce, seeds, and gardening information for families with lower incomes in Seattle.

In our neighborhood, Dad Watsons (3601 Fremont Ave. N.) is participating. Other participating restaurants (more may be added later) include:

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Ride your bike, get free pizza

May 4th, 2010 by master

Cyclists – both those who bike regularly and those who haven’t dusted off their wheels in awhile – are invited to Via Tribunali to partake in free pizza in return for using pedal power to get to the weekly pick of the popular pie-maker’s 5 Seattle locations for the next 5 Wednesdays between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., starting May 12.

They’ve saved the best for last: Fremont’s turn isn’t until June 9, so our residents will have to bike to other parts of town to take advantage of the deal before then. Look at it this way – more exercise for you!

Via Tribunali, in association with Caffe Vita, Peroni Beer, The Stranger and The City of Seattle’s Bicycle Program, present “5@5,” a campaign focused on raising funds for the Seattle biking community.

The restaurant will give away free margherita pizzas and sell $3 Peroni Beer to anyone who rides their bike to the Tribunali participating in the program from 5 – 7PM on the given Wednesday. The $3 from beer sales will be donated to the selected biking community partner that week.

Each week “5@5” will take place at a different Via Tribunali location (the biking community partner for each week is also listed below):

  • Wednesday, May 12: Georgetown, Bike Works
  • Wednesday, May 19: Capitol Hill, The Garage Cycling Team
  • Wednesday, May 26: Queen Anne, Cascade Bicycle Club’s program Trips for Kids
  • Wednesday, June 2: Belltown, Bicycle Alliance of Washington
  • Wednesday, June 9: Fremont 5, The Bikery

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