I try to minimize driving, and since I live less than 5 miles from our hospitals and my office, I commute by bike.  This is cheaper, healthier, and less polluting than driving.  Parking is much easier.  Rain is common in Seattle, but with Goretex and careful biking it is not a significant problem.  Here is the raingear I keep in my pannier or wear:

  1. Gore Bike Wear Pac Lite shell jacket

  2. LL Bean Stowaway Rain Pants with Gore-Tex

  3. Rain boots from Showers Pass

Here are some things to read if you are thinking of commuting by bike:

The Top Ten Excuses for not Commuting by Bike.

If you need further inspiration to bike more and drive less, read The Tyranny of Oil, by Antonia Juhasz.  A few facts from this book: 

  1. The US leads the globe in per capita oil consumption.

  2. Nearly 70% of all petroleum consumed in the United States is for transportation.

  3. In Juhasz’ words, “In the United States, the first order of business is reducing how much we drive.”

World-wide, cars and trucks account for more than 15 percent of global fossil fuel CO2 releases (ref), and US light duty cars and trucks produce 45% of this.

Investing more in public transportation and less on freeways will help.  However we can take individual action by reducing what we spend on oil.  Do you know how much you spend each year?  For the average US family, it is >$2000, over 4% of pretax income.  Over the lifetime of the car, the Union of Concerned Scientists calculate that drivers spend almost as much on gas as they paid for the car.

Healthier lifestyles could prevent at least one third of cancers

Here are some books on bike travel:

  1. Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities, by Jeff Mapes

  2. Bicycle Diaries, by David Byrne

  3. Joyride, by Mia Birk

Check out this video showing what London has accomplished.

I also recommend “Sustainable Energy — without the hot air” by David JC MacKay of Cambridge, available free at

In 2008 I decided to try biking a longer distance with my commuter bike.  See my website describing my bike trip from Seattle to San Francisco.  In 2011 a friend and I biked from San Francisco to LA which (of course) required a new bike.    I bought the bike April 2--a Salsa Vaya, commuter/touring bike with disc brakes and smooth shifters.  I also biked from LaGuardia to Manhattan, and around Manhattan over the Fourth of July.  NYC is great for biking.  In 2015 I rode from Seattle to Vancouver in the Cascade Bicycle Club RSVP.

Click here if you want to bike from airports instead of taking a taxi.

Click here and here for routes I use between UW medical campuses.  Stop at stop signs and don’t run red lights.  For more UW biking info, click here.

In spring 2014 I participated in the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Advocacy Leadership Institute.  Read more about it here.


Why not bike?

Urban biking photos clockwise