On Sunday, February 3rd, Cascade Bicycle Club hosted 12,000 riders previewing the new Seattle tunnel before it opened to cars. It was the biggest cycling event in state history.
While the ride was a celebration, it felt a bit like a march of solidarity. There’s a war between bikes and cars in Seattle. The city is constantly experimenting with new ways to reduce congestion. The brand new tunnel is much better than the old roadway it’s replacing.
It takes preparation and hardiness to be a biker in Seattle. The crowd of commuters, racers, families, and a few typical Seattle weirdos define a culture of defiance that to me stand for fitness, freedom, and environmentalism.
While the new tunnel isn’t for bikes, it will replace an eyesore of above ground highway – the multi-story viaduct. The tunnel is symbolic of sending the cars underground while reclaiming the surface for pedestrians and bikers.
“Why can’t the roads be closed like this everyday?” someone asked. Maybe some day they will.