Building a Bikeable Future: 2023 in Review

  • Thanks to the entire bicycling community, we accomplished a lot this year in our effort to build a more bikeable Washington state.
  • Read the stories that defined our impact in 2023.
Riding my electric cargo bike is my favorite thing

Paul Tolmé

Toward a more bikeable future

Building a Bikeable Future was our theme for 2023.

Like the cue sheets and Dan Henrys that guide us forward on Cascade rides, these words guided our work and pointed us toward a destination.   

Dan Henry marking

That destination is a future where more people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds can safely and skillfully ride bicycles for transportation, recreation, health, happiness, sustainability, equity, and prosperity.

Thanks to our members, volunteers, sponsors, donors and ride participants, we made great progress this year toward our goal of building a more bikeable Washington state.

Please join us in celebrating the moments that made us proud in 2023.

Kids love bikes

Expanding Youth Bike Education Statewide

Cascade has provided youth bike education to Seattle and Edmonds public schools since 2016, teaching bike skills to approximately 25,000 Puget Sound-area children every year. That curriculum is now expanding statewide thanks to the state Legislature’s creation of the School-Based Bicycle Safety Education Program administered by the Washington State Department of Transportation, which selected Cascade to implement this programming statewide.

We are calling it Let’s Go Across the State, and in this first pilot year we have partnered with 45 schools in cities including Spokane, Tacoma, Bellingham, Everett, and Vancouver, and in the counties of Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan, Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom.

Over the next decade, we will expand Let’s Go Across the State to schools covering 90 percent of Washington state public school students. This will be an incredible opportunity for students from Bellingham to Blaine to learn the freedom and joy of bicycling. 

While this Let’s Go Across the State curriculum will teach kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students, a second track within the School-Based Bicycle Safety Education Program will serve Black, Indigenous, and high school students of color through programming modeled on our Major Taylor Project.

Bike skills are life skills

In the 2023-24 pilot year of this equity based initiative, Cascade has partnered with three organizations: 2nd Cycle in Tacoma, Bike Works in South Seattle, and Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition/Vamos Outdoors Project. 

Each of these highly respected nonprofits serves underrepresented communities, and they will work with us to help high school-aged youth learn and grow through road safety education, leadership development, community engagement, and hands-on bike experience. Learn more here.

And read our post from March about the two Program Officers–Jacquelyn “Jax” Billups and Tina Castillo–that have joined Cascade to lead this initiative. 

Equity is central to these statewide expansions, which make Washington state and Cascade Bicycle Club national leaders in the effort to get more young people onto bikes. 

The long-term goal is to foster the skills that create a new generation of individuals who value bicycling, and to create lifelong advocates for active mobility to advance our climate, public health, and equity goals. Because bike skills are life skills.

Supporting Food Banks and Fighting Food Insecurity

Our Pedaling Relief Project made headlines and won national exposure this year thanks to its milestone achievement of transporting more than 1.2 million pounds of food and essential goods by bike.

Biking as community service

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and the University of Washington’s prestigious Urban Freight Lab helped us celebrate the Pedaling Relief Project during a news conference at the University District Food Bank in October.

Cranksgiving Seattle is an annual pre-Thanksgiving ride and food drive that works in partnership with our Pedaling Relief Project. Check out the happy faces and costumes on these turkeys!

Major Taylor Project

MTP youth at the finish of STP
MTP Tacoma Manager Josh Stowell (left) rode STP with a group of MTP youth.  

MTP is a legacy program that has enriched the lives of many South Seattle and Tacoma youth through the acquisition of bike skills, mentorship, and much more. Our Tacoma MTP Manager Josh Stowell is a former pro-BMX rider who has worked incredibly hard to expand opportunities for youth of color to ride bikes in Tacoma. That includes throwing a kooky and spooky Halloween party on bikes.

We also handed the microphone, so to speak, to one of our MTP ride leaders to talk about the joys of working with Major Taylor Project youth and her work to create the MTP Apprenticeship program. Read our story “We Ride the Same Road.”

Advocacy and Policy for Safer Streets

Our Seattle and statewide policy team is key to our mission of creating a bikeable future. They build support for more bike lanes, trails, and safer streets. 

Two of our big infrastructure wins this year included closing a gap in the Duwamish Trail and paving over the dangerous railroad tracks along the Burke-Gilman Trail’s Missing Link.

Paving over the Ballard tracks was a big improvement in safety

Another win for safer bicycling is the city’s commitment to build a continuous two-way protected bike lane along the Seattle Waterfront.

One reason we advocate for better bicycling infrastructure is because many people do not own cars, and they must bike, walk, or use mass transit for all of their trips. To experience what life is like with a car, multiple staff members participated in the Week Without Driving created by Disability Rights Washington. Read Communications Director Sara Kiesler’s lessons learned from her weeklong attempt to bike, walk, and use mass transit commuting from Tacoma to Seattle.

Helping voters understand the important issues on the ballot is another goal. That’s why we held voter forums this year to learn where candidates for office stand on bike safety.

STP: The Inclusive Community Ride Returns

STP finisher patch

Since the return of in-person STP, we have strived to make this iconic Pacific Northwest event more inclusive and welcoming. Check out the smiles in our STP photo gallery. 

Our inclusivity initiatives include creating a diverse group of STP Ambassadors whose life stories and bicycling journeys serve as an inspiration to anyone who has considered joining the rolling circus on wheels that is STP.

“Bicycling saved my life,” STP Ambassador Mike Baltieri told us. Other ambassadors include Ezell's Famous Chicken CEO Lewis Rudd, and Cascade super-volunteer Anita Elder, who has regained a love of bicycling again at age 64 thanks to the transformative power of e-bikes.

Lewis Rudd was all smiles at the finish of STP '23

We are also grateful to STP Ambassador Erick Cedeño, aka the Bicycle Nomad. Cedeño is on a mission to share the story of the Buffalo Soldiers, the legendary Army unit of Black soldiers who completed one of the most arduous bikepacking trips in U.S. history.

Affinity Clubs

Another program we initiated to make STP more welcoming is our Affinity Bike Clubs initiative. Read our story about the bike groups we welcomed in 2023 in our story “Riding STP and Celebrating the Diversity of our Bicycling Community.”

ASHA for Education having a blast at the finish of STP

We also extended our hand to Friends on Bikes, which creates bicycling opportunities for Trans, Women, Intersex, and Genderqueer riders of color.


Ellensburg Tour Lite

Our three-day Tours are a favorite of many longtime Cascade members. Check out the photos from our Winthrop Gravel Tour, which returns in June.

Our Long Beach and Ellensburg Tours highlighted the beautiful landscapes and scenic vistas of Washington state.

Winthrop Gravel Tour

Families on Bikes

Riding STP with the kids

Cascade strives to create more opportunities for families to ride together. Read our stories about two families and their experiences of training for STP with children. 

Get tips from a father who trained for and completed STP with his eight-year-old daughter. And read more insights from a dad who finished STP with his 9- and 11-year-old kids.

Dogs are part of many families. If you want to take your pooch for a pedal, read our story “Bicycling with Dogs in Baskets.”

Bicycling with dogs in baskets


Smooth cycling on the East Lake Sammamish Trail

Fighting for–and sharing information about–Washington state’s long distance trails is a core mission.

We saw big progress in the effort to finish a trail from the Puget Sound to the Pacific coastline. And we got to ride with Gov. Jay Inslee!

We also love to provide trail tips to inspire your own long distance rides. Our Community Education Manager Amy Korver did this with a blog post about her journey on the Palouse to Cascades state Park Trail.

We also celebrated the completion this year of more than 20 years of work to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, what may be The Eastside’s Most Beautiful Trail.

Bike Styles and Smiles

Breakfast participants arrived by bike and left with a smile.

Our annual Bike Everywhere Breakfast is not just a fundraiser and community gathering–it’s also a chance to check out the many bike styles of our diverse and growing bike community. 

Bike Everywhere Month and Day

Bike Everywhere Day

We pump up the volume every  May during Bike Everywhere Month. We fueled people’s bike stoke again this year with a Priority Bicycles bike demo, speakers, a film premier, and more. 

Gear Reviews and Bike Tips

We strive to give our community practical tips that make bicycling easier and more comfortable. That’s why we recommend bike gear that we love, such as in our story “Hot Gear for Winter Riding.

We love e-bikes

Providing opportunities to score hot deals on bikes and gear is why we host our Seattle Bike Swap and E-Bike Expo in early February. Check out the happy folks who attended this year.

Feeling chilly? Our story “Hot Summer Bicycling Gear for Cool Riding” may warm you up. Or maybe you’ll find a holiday gift for the bike rider in your life in our “Gear Tips for Winter Commuting and Cold Weather Riding.”

Free Group Rides

Our Free Group Rides program, which offers small group bike rides 365-ish days a year, is how many people first become familiar with Cascade. We are always looking for more ride leaders to expand our offerings. It’s as easy as pie.

The Pie Ride

Celebrating the Accomplishments of Our Cycling Heroes

We celebrated Tom Fucoloro, the founder of Seattle Bike Blog, by naming him our 2023 Doug Walker Award winner. Tom also published the book “Biking Uphill in the Rain” this year. It’s essential reading for anyone who cares about bicycling in Seattle, and who wants to learn about Cascade’s history of bike advocacy.

Biking Uphill in the Rain
The story of Seattle from behind the handlebars.

Another hero we celebrated this year is G&O Family Cyclery owner Davey Oil, who has survived fire and industry turmoil to become a key influencer in the family cargo biking movement. Read our story “Oil on the Roadways”.

Tom Ahearne took up hand cycling to strengthen his body and mind following a snowboarding crash that paralyzed his legs. That didn’t stop him from training for and completing STP on his hand cycle

Seattle Sounders Bike Parking

Score a goal for bikes

We worked hard in 2023 to make Seattle Sounders games more bikeable, offering free bike parking for many home games–and for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. 

Bike Lane Cleanups

We urge city governments to keep their bike lanes clean and free of hazards, especially in the fall when bike lanes fill with slippery leaves. That's why we organized multiple bike lane cleanings in Seattle this year. 

Cleaning the bike lanes in Seattle

Check it out on our Instagram feed. 

Help us Build a Bikeable Future in 2024 

We extend heartfelt thanks to all of our members, donors, sponsors, and ride participants who helped make Washington state more bikeable in 2023, and we look forward to pedaling alongside you again in 2024.

Because a bikeable future is a better future

Share this post