The south side of downtown Seattle boasts some wonderful, off-road, regional trails, including the Mountains to Sound Trail on Interstate 90 with its new link through Dr. José Rizal Park, the SODO Trail along the Link light rail route, and the Elliott Bay Trail along the waterfront.
But connections between those trails are challenging for bicyclists and pedestrians, which is why Cascade Bicycle Club ride leader Merlin Rainwater organized a ride to explore these missing links. Billed as a S.L.O.W. (Senior Ladies On Wheels) a group of women plus one gentleman spent a mild winter day riding through this part of town.
Our ride began at the African American Museum, where the Interstate 90 Trai
l heads both east across Lake Washington and west into downtown Seattle. We headed west into town, then onto busy roads and sidewalks through the International District. This area needs a separated trail running east-west!
We rode south on Sixth Avenue and traversed underneath the Spokane Street Viaduct on sidewalks, where the Seattle Department of Transportation has painted the columns with elements of the city’s industrial and cultural history. This unique art installation illustrates SODO’s dramatic transformation from tidal flats to industrial area, with historic facts and figures in themes: Another Man’s Treasure, Forest of Stilts, Duck-Duck-Goose, Heavy Metal, Moved Mountain, Slowheel, Cuts and Hides and Liquid Land.
A freight train, a relatively common occurrence here, stalled our progress on the way to the Elliott Bay Trail, with its views of downtown skyscrapers and the industrial Port of Seattle. And the trip back through the International District would not have been complete without a stop at Sub Sand for Vietnamese sandwiches.Merlin Rainwater plans to lead a S.L.O.W. ride on the last Saturday of each month. Sign up with Cascade Bicycle Clubto explore a new part of town at your own pace.