How did you get to work today? If you’re like the vast majority of Seattle residents, chances are good that you drove your car or took the bus. On your commute, you probably saw at least a few people riding bicycles: according to the most recent US Census data, 3.6 percent of Seattlites use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation to work. That may not sound like much, but Seattle is now second only to Portland in the number of bicycle commuters nationwide. In the past year, the number of people biking to work in Seattle increased by 22 percent.
Want to join the ever-expanding ranks of Seattle’s urban cyclists? The Seattle Public Library is here to help. As part of the fall Urban Self-Reliance program series, the Library is offering “Introduction to Bike Commuting” classes at five branches around the city. A certified Cascade Bicycle Club instructor will cover many topics of interest to budding cycle commuters including rules of the road, route planning, cycling gear and much more!
If you’re already riding around town but feel helpless when you get a flat tire, check out the Bicycle Maintenance classes in the same series. Friendly, knowledgeable instructors from the Bikery will teach you how to fix a flat, lubricate your drive chain, adjust your brakes and more. All classes are free and do not require advance registration.
If you can’t make it to these classes, or want to learn more about bicycle commuting and maintenance, the Library has many great books on these subjects in our collections. Here’s a short list to get you started:
On bicycle commuting and urban cycling:
- The Bike to Work Guide: Save Gas, Go Green, Get Fit by Roni Sarig
- Biking to Work by Rory McMullan
- Urban Bikers’ Tricks & Tips: Low-tech & No-tech Ways to Find, Ride & Keep a Bicycle by Dave Glowacz
On bicycle maintenance and repair:
- The Urban Biking Handbook: The DIY Guide to Building, Rebuilding, Tinkering With and Repairing Your Bicycle for City Living by Charles Haine
- Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance by Lennard Zinn. A classic that should be on every road bike owner’s shelf.
- The Chainbreaker Bike Book: A Rough Guide to Bicycle Maintenance by Ethan Clark and Shelley Lynn Jackson. From the publishers of Chainbreaker zine, this hand-illustrated guide to bicycle repair is a great resource and wonderful introduction to DIY bike culture.
Check ’em out, and start riding (and fixing) your bicycle today!