Biking to REI

I had to made a swap at REI. My dad bought me a new jacket for my birthday but it didn’t quite fit so I ordered a larger size to the store. I decided to wear the jacket over & return it so I wouldn’t have to lug an extra coat around.

REI is only about 4 miles from me by the most direct route but Eastlake is a total bummer so I decided on a very calm yet very circuitous route. My route was very flat – the only hills being on Harrison & the climb up the 4 blocks at the end back to home.Screen Shot 2016-12-17 at 5.25.38 PM.png

I rode the Burke Gilman Trail to the Fremont Bridge & then hopped on the Westlake cycle track until I got to 9th. I took 9th to Harrison then over to Yale and down to John because the bike parking is located on the Eastlake Side of the building.

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The ride was pretty calm & there weren’t too many people out until I got over to Yale which houses the parking garage for REI. This is a mess. People are angry.

Despite wayfinding signs getting to the bike parking is tricky. The signs all seem to point in contradictory directions & they use the term “bikes” to mean “mountain bike test trail” NOT to be confused with “bike parking”.

The parking is covered & close to the exit – although weirdly far from the entrance – of the store. I was disappointed in the installation of the racks. They’re bolted together to a stringer that connects 8 or so racks but this puts them too close together & the stringer made it hard for me to set my kickstand. My bike JUST fit in the rack but it meant I was taking up 2 spaces instead of 1. There was also a limited number of racks for the MASSIVE number of car spaces in the parking garage. It was token bike parking & that’s a bummer.

The store is huge. I thought I was in an IKEA. There’s a play area for kids & a restaurant & 8 million lines for returns & online orders. It was packed the weekend before the holidays & wait times at the checkout were 30 – 40 minutes.

I was able to swap out one jacket for the next size & headed back out on my cold, snowflakey ride home.

3 thoughts on “Biking to REI

  1. Not that this makes it good enough, but the bike parking is way better than it used to be! There are wave racks around the corner from the entrance (you see them if you arrive from Eastlake), but there are signs posted U-LOCKS ONLY so it was always scary to park there. For a short while there was a bike rack inside (inside!) right by the doors, but it didn’t last long. It wasn’t bolted down, but it didn’t really matter. Then it moved outside by the wave racks and was never bolted down. I hate having to walk from where I park to get in, but at least it’s nice that the bikes right there when I get out. Oh, I don’t know if it’s still there, but there also used to be a rack in the parking garage…but I hate parking in parking garages so I haven’t been in there in eons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got a bit turned around & was about to look for parking in the garage before I ended up at the racks. I don’t think I was supposed to ride on the mountain bike trail but oh well!


      1. I LOVE riding on the test-ride trail (shhhhh!) šŸ˜‰ I guess the legit way is to pedal into the parking garage to that rack (if it’s still there) or walk one’s bike to the racks by entrance or exit.

        Liked by 1 person

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