Finishing Strong: Celebrating Bicycling’s Biggest Wins of 2022
Historic infrastructure funding, the return of STP, a statewide expansion of youth bike education, a helmet law repeal, and big progress on trails are among the reasons to celebrate.
Join us as we review 2022’s biggest wins–and work to build a more bikeable future in 2023.
On a long bike ride, you want to finish strong. Cascade Bicycle Club and the bicycling community did just that in 2022, ending the year stronger than we began it and crossing the finish line with a flurry of successes.
Join us as we celebrate the bicycling community’s biggest wins, heroes, and magical moments of 2022.
Historic Investments in Bicycling
This colossal investment includes $216 million to create two statewide youth bicycling education programs that will reach 90 percent of Washington state students in future years. Modeled after Cascade’s Let’s Go bike and pedestrian education program and the Major Taylor Project, which empowers Black, Indigenous, and youth of color with bike knowledge and leadership skills, these initiatives will amplify Cascade’s efforts to build a bikeable future for all.
STP and Major Rides Return
After two years of pandemic shutdowns, we gathered again in 2022 to ride in unison.
July heralded the return of STP–the Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic presented by Alaska Airlines. See our photo album of the Tutus, Smiles, and Stoke of the Pacific Northwest’s largest and most iconic big group ride.
Chilly Hilly, the Ride for Major Taylor, the Ride from Redmond to Bellingham and Back (R2B2), Flying Wheels, Bike-n-Brews South, the Woodinville Wine Ride, the Cascade Training Series, and the Kitsap Color Classic all took place in 2022. These rides are more than events. They bring people together to build community, experience the joy of bicycling, and the revenues and participants fund our advocacy, education, and community work.
We expanded our popular Tour Lites in 2022, and we are adding more big rides in 2023 including our first gravel tour. Taste some Tour Lite fun in Hey Hay Walla Walla!, and get ready for February’s Seattle Bike Swap, where the vintage bikes and bargains are bananas.
Building an Inclusive and Welcoming Riding Community
Creating an inclusive riding community was a huge priority in 2022–and it will remain our focus into the future.
Executive Director Lee Lambert led the effort to make STP 2022 the most welcoming ever by partnering with affinity-based bike clubs and groups including Ampersand Bike Club, Marley Blonsky’s All Bodies on Bikes, Bike Works, Northstar Cycling, and Filipino-American Board Member Gabe Castillo’s Gruppetto Cycling (which was featured on CNBC).
“STP is a celebration of Pacific Northwest bicycling, and we want to create a sense of belonging that ensures everyone feels welcomed and celebrated,” Lambert says.
Using Our Heads
Working together this year, we helped repeal King County’s harmful and ineffective helmet law that disproportionately impacted Black people and unhoused individuals in Seattle.
Removing this bad law pushes policymakers to focus on the biggest danger facing people who ride on our streets: traffic violence caused by inattentive drivers, speeding, poorly engineered roadways, and a proliferation of deadlier oversized vehicles.
Cascade is 100 percent pro helmet, and we require helmets on all of our rides. But let’s use our heads–and our hearts–to tear down barriers to bicycling.
Celebrating Families on Bikes
Making our rides more family-friendly is a big goal for 2023. Kids who ride with their parents become adults who ride for life.
Among the most special kids we met this year is Jaanya, an eight-year-old who trained for–and completed–STP with her dad.
Cascade Board Member Kai Shih is another parent who discovered his love of bicycling by training for and completing STP with his wife and boys.
More Kids on Bikes
This year brought some milestone achievements in youth bicycling.
Seattle’s Let’s Go program, a partnership between Cascade, the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Public Schools, became the nation’s largest school-based bike education program.
Thanks to Move Ahead Washington, school-based bike education is now going statewide. If photos of kids on bikes warm your heart, get a glimpse of the joys of teaching bike skills to schoolchildren in Seattle, and in Edmonds.
Bike trails enhance our economy and enable us to explore our communities and state car-free. The good news: Washington state is on the verge of a trail building boom.
Major Taylor Project
Marshall “Major” Taylor was a Black athlete and cycling legend who was the greatest racer of his era. Cascade’s Major Taylor Project honors his legacy.
MTP expanded in 2022 after two years of pandemic restrictions that led to smaller clubs in King and Pierce counties. Read about MTP’s big achievements, including rides on the Green River Trail and how MTP went MTB in Tacoma.
The Wheels of Justice
Sometimes, advocating for safer bicycling means going to court. Cascade has joined Seattle in a legal fight to complete the Missing Link on the Burke-Gilman Trail.
We also worked with Washington Bike Law to win a state Supreme Court ruling that will lead to safer bicycling.
Supporting Community by Helping Food Banks
Since its founding in 2020, Cascade’s Pedaling Relief Project has rescued and delivered roughly 453,000 pounds of food and goods to thousands of Seattle residents. And we did it all by bicycle thanks to the help of many devoted volunteers.
Volunteers fuel Cascade’s work and power our mission.
Whether stuffing packets for STP, leading rides for Major Taylor Project, helping at events, or becoming a Free Group Rides leader, Cascade salutes its volunteers.
Read about our Volunteer of the Year Jeff Powers, a Titanic explorer and retired submarine commander who loves to ride, and sign up to volunteer.
Electric bikes are one of the most exciting trends in bicycling because they enable more people to ride further for health and car-free transportation.
Lessons on Mobility Privilege
Many of us who bike also drive. But for individuals who can’t afford a car or aren’t able to drive due to a disability, getting from A to B by bike, public transit, on foot, or by rolling can be a hardship.
By going car-free for a week, Cascade staff members learned valuable lessons about mobility privilege that influence our work supporting car-free, multi-modal transportation.
Celebrating Bike Month
May is Bike Month, and in 2022 we focused on bicycles as a transportation solution to reduce emissions that are wrecking our climate.
May is also when we invite the bicycling community to attend our annual Bike Everywhere Breakfast, where bike styles–and smiles–were on full display in 2022.
Bicycles Bridge Communities was our 2022 Breakfast theme, captured in this video.
Celebrating Bicycling Heroes
Everyone who rides is a hero, but some members of our community go the extra mile.
One of these people is King County’s top doctor, who sacrificed his STP dreams in 2022 to battle COVID-19.
Another is Seattle’s fried chicken king, Lewis Rudd, who rode his 31st STP this year while supporting many community causes.
Building a Bikeable Future
Creating a more bikeable future means being at the table with policymakers. That’s why Executive Director Lee Lambert served on the hiring committee that chose new Seattle Department of Transportation Director Greg Spotts.
Seattle has made progress on its bike network in recent years, but bicycling in Georgetown, SODO, and through certain corridors remains dangerous and intimidating. That’s why we outlined and fought for our Top Five Projects for Making Seattle Safer for Bicycling.
We also partnered with bike advocates and policymakers in Tacoma to push for safer infrastructure there and in Pierce County, and we gathered with hundreds of advocates, transportation planners and community members to strategize ways to create more just and resilient communities statewide.
Endorsing and encouraging the bicycling community to vote for policies we support is another way to improve bicycling. King County’s bicycling community stepped up by approving an expenditure for trails and open space that Cascade supported.
Our partner organization and legislative policy arm, Washington Bikes, ends 2022 by announcing a list of policy priorities it will work to advance in 2023.
Cascade Bicycle Club extends its deepest gratitude to everyone who helped make 2022 so productive, healing, and successful. Our goal in 2023, with your help, is to expand our impact and build a more bikeable future.
A bikeable future means a cleaner, greener, healthier, happier, kinder, more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable future. We hope you will join us for the ride.