Cycling’s red bike is back! Bike advocates say ‘we are still working on it’
Posted On July 23, 2021
Bike advocates are celebrating after a cyclist was given a bike for the first time in five years.
The red bicycle is a special, special bike that’s been part of the bike community for many years, said John McLean, the president of the Bicycle Coalition of Metropolitan Washington.
It’s a blue bicycle, a bike that represents the people that make bicycling fun, he said.
A few weeks ago, a friend gave me a red bicycle and said, I just want to give it a good ride, McLean said.
The friend also gave me this note.
“I just want it to go to a great cause,” he wrote.
That was my first red bicycle I’ve ever had, said Patrick McNeil, an executive director of the Ride Washington group.
I was thrilled.
I said, Thank you so much.
He said, You’ve really helped me make my decision to go biking.
McNeil said that his first bike was a white bicycle that he gave to his wife.
“It was a gift from the person that was my wife,” he said, adding that he was proud to have been able to get it back.
“My first bike that I gave my wife, it was a red bike, I didn’t have the chance to give that bike back to her, and she didn’t give me the opportunity to give her the opportunity.
So I got it back, and that was it.
That was it,” McNeil added.
Now, McNeil and his wife have been riding the bike around their city for the last year.
“Our first day of riding, we were riding up to the airport.
It was one of those things where I said hey, this is great.
It gives you an idea of how many people ride bicycles in the city, because you’re seeing it all the time,” he explained.
The Red Bicycle was created by the Bicycle Council of Metropolitan Seattle in 1999, and is owned by the city.
“When we started to look at how we could help, we started looking at the infrastructure,” McLean explained.
The bike is an integral part of every bicycle network in Seattle, he added.
The Red Bicycle has been on public roads in Seattle for decades.
“They have been on the road since the beginning,” he told ABC News.
“We wanted to see if we could take this bike out and put it in a way that it was accessible to people that didn’t know about it, so they could ride it, and then people could use it.”
He also said that people should take the opportunity that the bike gives them to do something positive for the community.
“We need to make sure that the Red Bike is there, because we need it to be there.
I know it’s a little bit of a mystery to people who don’t know it exists,” he added, noting that he’s seen people riding the Red Bicycle for hours.”
I know I’m not the only one who’s ridden it, but I think that’s a great thing,” McNeill said.
“It’s been a great opportunity for the people who use it.
I think it’s really great.”
Bike advocacy groups like the Bicycle Alliance of Metropolitan Puget Sound, Seattle Bike Share, and the Seattle Bicycle Coalition also support the idea.
“The Red Bike was created as a tool to make bicycled transportation more accessible and accessible for everyone, and we’re excited to have it on the streets in Seattle,” said BAMS spokesperson Kelly Baughman.
Bike advocates also hope that people will keep the bike as it was meant to be and make it more accessible.
“People should always think about where they want to go, what they want from their day, and what they can use their bike for,” McNeils said.
“When I was riding it, it looked like a regular bike, but when I was looking at it and looking at people on the street, I saw a lot of different people, so it really looks like they were using it,” he continued.
“This is a way to show that people have the power to do this and have it be something people can use.”
In addition to helping people in the area that have lost their bikes, the bike is a fun way to make new friends, McNeil added.
“If you get to ride it around the neighborhood, there’s probably some people that you don’t recognize that are riding the same bike,” he noted.