Biking

Biking in Olympia

Are you considering riding your bike in Olympia? Here are some resources to get you started:


Bike Safety

Route Planning

Use the Thurston County Bike Map to plan a low-stress route with less motor vehicle interaction. Instead of using streets you would normally drive on, look for alternative routes. You'll get to know your City so much better!

Light Up Olympia

Light up Olympia is a City of Olympia campaign promoting cyclist safety and visibility during the darker winter months. City staff and volunteers walk popular bike routes on random days from November through March handing out free lights, reflective straps, and safety information to passing cyclists.

Bicyclists put themselves, pedestrians, and motorists at risk when they ride at night without lights. Bicycle lights help make cyclists visible to others and help them see the road or trail ahead. Many people do not realize it is illegal to ride a bicycle after dark without a light. State law requires that during the hours of darkness every bicycle must have a white front light visible for 500 feet, along with a red reflector visible for 600 feet. Red blinking taillights are recommended in addition to the reflector. RCW 46.61.780

Bike Helmets

A helmet that does not fit will not function properly. There are a few different types of helmets, but with all of them, a good fit is essential.

Bike Helmet Diagram

Position the Helmet: The helmet should rest on your head so that only two fingers width can fit between your eyebrows and your helmet.

Adjust Side Straps: Helmet adjustment straps should look just like a "Y" shape, with the adjustor clasp sitting right below your ear.

Tighten Straps: The chin strap should fit snugly enough so you can only fit two fingers between the strap and your chin.

Check Your Fit: To test if your helmet fits properly, unclasp the straps and tilt your head forward.  If the helmet doesn't move, you're set!

Most helmets need to be replaced after any impact. Sometimes damage is not visible after an impact, but the helmet needs to be replaced anyway. It is generally recommended that a helmet be replaced every 4 to 5 years, even if it has remained impact free. Sunlight, heat, and rain can all deteriorate the materials in your helmet over time, reducing its integrity.

City of Olympia offers free bike helmets to low-income families.

To get a helmet and proper fitting, please visit the Customer Care Counter at City Hall, 601 4th Avenue East.

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Swanson at 360.753.8575.


Trails

Olympia is home to three major trails: the Woodland Trail, the Chehalis-Western Trail, and the I-5 Trail.  

Olympia Woodland Trail

This paved pedestrian and bicycle trail begins at Eastside Street and Wheeler Avenue and connects to the Chehalis-Western Trail and the City of Lacey. Learn more.

Chehalis Western Trail

This 22-mile former rail trail has been converted into a multi-use walking and biking trail. It runs from Woodard Bay Road to the Yelm-Tenino Trail with several trailheads along the way. Visit Thurston County's Chehalis Western Trail page for more information and a trail map.

Learn about the Chehalis Western Trail Bridge the Gap Project.

If you see a trail in need of maintenance, such as sweeping, pot hole patching or vegetation trimming, refer to the contact information below:

Olympia Woodland Trail (Eastside to Lacey City Limits)
City of Olympia, 360.753.8151

I-5 Bike Trail (Jefferson to Sleater-Kinney)
Garbage, Pavement, Signs: City of Olympia, 360.753.8151
Fencing, Landscaping: Washington State Transportation , 253.983.7550

Chehalis Western Trail
Thurston County Parks, 360.786.5595


Woman biking in downtown olympiaBiking Resources

Bicycle Registration

The Olympia Police Department offers free bicycle registration for Olympia residents. This provides documentation on your bike, in the event it is ever lost or stolen. To register, bring your bicycle to the Olympia Police Department, 601 4th Avenue E, M-F, 8am-5pm.

Cycling Organizations

Bike Parking

Wondering where to park your bike in the downtown core? Check out our bike parking map below. Click on the bicycle icon to see a picture of the rack, find out if it’s covered, and see how many spots are there.

Note: the Transit Center is outside the area we inventoried. Learn more about combining your bike with the bus at Intercity Transit

Racks on Demand

Do you know a Downtown business that needs a bike rack? Are you a Downtown business owner who doesn't have a parking lot or other place for a bike rack? Contact John Lindsay at jlindsay@ci.olympia.wa.us or 360.753.8287 to find out about our Racks on Demand Program


 

Questions?

Contact Michelle Swanson, AICP, Senior Program Specialist, 360.753.8575 or mswanson@ci.olympia.wa.us