CAMPSITE UPDATE: We will be camping in the hiker/biker sites which are on the north end of the beach (close to where we come in). Pay per bike at the kiosk and clip your receipt to the post by the site(s) (unless the camp hosts are around and says they want to hang onto receipts to keep track of our numbers). My family needs to get rolling by 10am on Sunday, but there’s bound to be a later group leaving, too!
9:00 a.m. Saturday, July 30, 2016 – meet by Fremont PCC Natural Market (on the south side of 34th Street)
This will give us time to watch one another’s luggage-laden bikes to pop inside for last-minute supplies and potty breaks and be ready to ride at
9:30 a.m. we ride! Promptly at 9:30 a.m.! (Which means 9:40, but for real we are leaving by 9:40!)
– or –
11:00 a.m. meet us at the ferry (inside, in line).
11:25 a.m. ferry sets sail (ARRIVE AT LEAST 20 MINUTES EARLY).
- Fremont to Seattle Ferry Terminal
- Bainbridge Ferry Terminal to Fay Bainbridge Park (direct, highway route)
- Alternate scenic (and hilly) route from Bainbridge Ferry Terminal to Fay Bainbridge Park
(this is for families who want to break away from the flat-seeking main group and meet us at Fay via the scenic route used by Chilly Hilly and Bike for Pie)
From the Bicycles on Washington State Ferries webpage:
“Bicyclists should arrive 20 minutes prior to departure time to be loaded at the beginning of loading process. If a bicyclist arrives after vehicle loading has begun, they will be loaded at the end of the load.”
So arrive by 11:05am. BUT if you’re late, they’ll still put you on–just after the cars load. I love how versatile they are with bikes! But it’s so super fun to roll onto the empty ferry so be early if you’re meeting us there. Plus we can socialize in the bike lane before loading.
If you have an ORCA card and regular bike, there is an automated tollbooth at the far right–no waiting behind the cars! But otherwise you need to wait in the rightmost car lane to pay. Current fares are $8.10 for adults, $4.05 for kids six and up, and $1 for bikes.
Trailers, cargo bikes, tandems, and trailer bikes are sometimes charged an extra $1 bike fee so families with bikes of that ilk should hit a ticket booth. If the ticket agent seems confused, it’s helpful to say, “Last time families with bikes like this paid [fill in the blank].”
For example: for our tandem plus trailer bike carrying one adult and two kids age six and up, they’ve been charging me for one adult plus bike, one kid plus bike, one extra $1 bike charge. We can compare notes at PCC before heading down.
The Bainbridge-to-Seattle direction is free.
Once on Bainbridge Island, we’ll ride about a block uphill within the ferry terminal area to Bike Barn Rentals and hang out while the car traffic clears. Generally, we push directly onward to the campground, but there’s a grocery store in Winslow for any forgotten items. During our June group trip, we used this stop to divide into three groups:
– Group hitting grocery store and then taking scenic route
– Group taking scenic route
– Group taking direct, highway route (this is the group I, Madi, will lead)
Our campground is in Fay Bainbridge Park which features a great playground (!!) and BEACH. There are outlets in the bathrooms and picnic shelter (which might be reserved) for those who need to charge e-bike batteries or other things.
Hiker/biker camp spots are $7 per person, though sometimes the camp host is OK with us paying $7 per tent (essentially making kids free!), so we always check in with the camp host first. Also, we’re often given permission to camp in the kayak-in area, which we’ll try to do again this year as we like that side best! Payment happens at a kiosk between the restrooms and the camp host. Keep your receipt handy so we can give them to the camp host and help them keep track of our big group.
Note: We’ve been doing group summer camping trips to Fay for several years now and we’ve gradually been seeing more kids riding their own bikes–we had four in June! Bainbridge Island is very bikey with drivers used to seeing bikes on the roads, but it’s definitely busier (even the quiet, scenic route) and hillier (even the flat highway route) than my own Seattle kids are used to…however, they’re going to ride their own bikes for the first time this trip! I’ll take my cargo bike just in case I need to carry one or both of them and their bikes for part of the way.
At this point no concrete plans for when to head back Sunday. We’ll most likely have an early crowd and a later crowd. I’ll probably be part of the later crowd. We can try to have energy to head to Peddler Brewing Company or Fremont Brewing for a Seattle-side hangout before going our separate ways. Our route from Fay to the ferry is a backtracking of our Saturday route over and here’s the route from the Seattle Ferry Terminal to Peddler Brewing Company and the route from the Seattle Ferry Terminal to Fremont Brewing.
New to bike camping or bike camping as a family? Feel free to ask questions in the comments or contact me. The Seattle Family Biking Facebook group is also an excellent resource–many families have borrowed gear via that group! Do you want to come, but don’t have the right bike? Check out the Familybike Seattle Rental Fleet.