The Bicycling Store   Priority: Learning Over Sales
Service, Sales: Soma new bikes, used bikes, parts and accessories

2301 South Jackson Street #214

Seattle, Washington 98144

Promenade 23 Plaza at 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson in the Central District 

12:30 to 7pm daily

206 856-6941 all day support and appointments.


Checked daily

usually at arrival, while you watch and learn, participation option
SOMA Dealer,
Used bikes, parts, accessories

Free Store Events:

Sunday Ride 2pm. RSVP or just show up and we'll find a ride to fit your interests, building skills to going somewhere.

Learn to ride(balance first then pedal): try my special low seat adult balance bike

Learn bike handling skills:
shifting brakes turning stopping emergency maneuvers
Learn to Drive 
Bicycling is an inherently safe and fun activity: when you're willing to learn driving behavior so you can get along with other people.

Sign-Up For
The Bicycling Store Newsletter
Store Events and News

When you sign-up you'll get an email: your response will confirm and activate your subscription.
Formula For Success 
Nothing affects our outcomes more than how we think. Here are four simple memorable steps for managing our thoughts:

1.  Options: Think how many options there might be.
2.  Evaluate: Study, test and compare the options.
3.  Choose: Select the best outcomes.   
4.  Habit: Turn your best options into routines.    

When your best options are chosen from the widest selection and turned into habits you will find yourself doing what others believe is impossible - without even thinking about it.

Options:  Its natural to get stuck in one direction of thinking. To overcome this common limitation in thoughts, challenge your thoughts for truth. The best way to develop the widest variety of thoughts is to take the original thought and turn it into its opposite.  

Evaluate:  Test and compare the ideas, from thought experiments to rigorous tests. 

Choose:  Choose the idea that shows the best outcome. 

Habit:  Habits are very easy, they work quickly and efficiently. When your investment in rational thinking finds success, turn it into a habit and repeat effortlessly.

It takes serious brain/mind management to choose curiosity over comfort and test different challenging ideas to turn into habits for better outcomes. It takes courage, character and persistence to pursue and develop ideas where they may challenge established ideas. However the sooner you get started the more successful habits you’ll have to build on and the easier it becomes to manage and grow your success.

In bicycling, there are two opposite directions of thought and they lead to opposite conclusions and outcomes. When you watch bicyclists riding in Seattle, can you see the opposite direction?

I recommend:
1  Dr. Daniel Amen correcting Automatic Negative Thoughts  or ANTS

2  Mindset The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

3  BlindSpot Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji Anthony G. Greenwald   

4  The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

5  How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

Bicycling Blind or Not?

Did you hear the This American Life NPR radio program episode Batman?

Daniel Kish is blind, but he rides a bicycle: how?

Recent developments in brain-imaging, neuroscience and emotional intelligence may help you overcome disbelief and see how Daniel realized his success. 

Cancerous eyes removed at age two, Daniel was raised like a sighted child, without special protections or help. He taught himself to echolocate and brain imaging shows how he “sees”.

Today Daniel wants to help blind people see. His biggest problem is the compulsive need people have to do things for blind people that prevents them from having the learning experiences he had. Instead, the blind and their helpers resist.

You can hear this story at Archives for #544 Batman or iTunes Invisibilia How to Become Batman. The theme is Expectations, the success of high expectations and a thoughtful explanation why we would resist. 

 The Bicycling Store Handout: Our Philosophy

The purpose of The Bicycling Store is to test and advance the concept of prioritizing learning over sales based on my studies of recent discoveries on brain—mind function.

Advancements in this area of psychology are based on brain imaging and population studies previously unavailable to science that are revealing how our minds actually work rather than how we believe they work for learning and deciding.

I wanted to use the Store as a test vehicle for drawing people into a dialogue for learning more about bicycling where they were resisting due to the current bicycle program. The resistance was due to the fact that bicyclists were being promised with what I feel is a false sense of security, comfort and programs that offers them a bicycling system that requires nothing of them other than political action and (but) a passive attitude towards learning.

I've seen that competency precedes and defines safety. The idea behind this is that when bicyclists learn more about responsible bicycling then they can manage risk and exposure which allows them to be much safer. Competency is critical for safety and failing to learn is inherently more limited and hazardous; but the craft of bicycling with traffic disappeared during the period of time adults abandoned bicycling for motoring. Today bicycling is dominated by discussions of building separate facilities rather than discussions about bicycling safely with traffic as in the past.

Today, the current political situation is allocating practically all the resources to the design, construction, and marketing of bicycling facilities to the detriment of education for traffic competency.

With The Bicycling Store, I position myself into bicyclists’ routine, with the opportunity for conversation. With my previous project as a bicycling traffic safety expert conversation was rare and difficult as my audience has been alienated from learning traffic skills by the current popular bicycling programs that market traffic cycling negatively, as dangerous and directs bicyclists interests to advocating separate facilities for perceived safety and comfort.

All bicyclists should learn about bicycling competency even if they're not utilizing this, so they can understand and coexist with other bicyclists who are utilizing and pursuing bicycling competency.

The bicycling advocates have nothing to offer as far as self improvement. The bicycling store is based on self-improvement and is supported by data and research by neuroscientists. The contrast between the bicycling store and the bike advocates is that we solve the problem of riding with traffic by using the science of showing people how to learn, so they can learn to ride with traffic, whereas the bike advocates increasingly rely on marketing engineering separation that discourages learning while removing the infrastructure competent bicyclists prefer and use that advance their traffic skills.

To understand the brain/mind connection to bicycling, and your life, we stock and recommend:

  • Mindset The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • BlindSpot Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji Anthony G. Greenwald   
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Newsletter #88

Greenways: safer or not?

Greenways are marketed as unquestioned improvement, but those who know me know I ask questions. 

The strategy of bikeways is to separate bike routes from cars and traffic. This seems obvious and has proven a popular sticky truth. 

But others have excellent results going in the opposite direction: facing difficulties and overcoming them, in this case learning to get along with other people as drivers. 

Strong support comes from the mental health and neuroscience fields on managing our thoughts for better outcomes so I’m recommending two books from my reading list:

(1) BlindSpot Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji Anthony G. Greenwald  They developed the Implicit Association Test that measures bias, including racial bias with a clock based on their understanding how our minds work in ways we are unaware.

(2) Mindset The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck   Carol Dweck identifies and compares the fixed mindset and the growth mindset which should capture the attention of curious and alert bicyclists.

So many in my Store have responded by taking notes and asking for my reading list, I’ve decided to make these books available and invite conversation. The healthy direction of thinking has changed my bicycling and my life so much they have differentiated my past and provided a new life, perhaps it would be helpful to pass them on.

Newsletter #86

Recently a bike trip through Leavenworth had me frightened for my life. I had it all scoped out and on GPS: except for a half mile of rough cross country to connect two old logging road systems for the planned loop. I got sucked in when it started out easier but just kept getting harder as I went until turning back looked as bad as continuing.

Photos:     Or enter:

My concern increased as the "trail" I had seen from a distance had no foot prints, only hoof prints, I had to kick steps into the steep slope then cut them with a sharp rock, until the slope was too steep and unstable to cross. 

Thats when I saw a climbing rope on the ground. The bike cable lock went through the bike frame and around my head and shoulder while I used the seat post to belay by rope down the slope to a better crossing. Then I had to push the 44lb loaded bike up 6” to a foot at a time, pull the brakes on  and then climb up to the bike, repeatedly to regain several hundred feet of elevation. 

Never have I been so continuously exposed to the imminent hazard of falling with a crumbling step, and stretched to the limit of my strength, and balance with the bike dangling from my neck while mountain climbing.

First I felt really relieved to survive but so stupid for getting sucked in so far over my intention, then in light of my reading on the brain/mind so conscious of the learning process. Yes, I learned to overcome at each step of difficulty that was right at the limit of my ability and burned into my mind by the emotion of the situation until I had done something unimaginable. 

I have to wonder: are we safer and better designing for “comfort” or facing a measured amount of exposure in return for skills learned? If we can overcome the difficult part, everything else becomes so much easier.

I’ll never make that trip again, but I’ll always remember what I learned to do. Now, getting bikes up and down from the ceiling beam in my shop feels like a breeze. 

Newsletter #71

My presentation “Calming Down” at:


I’m one of many David Smiths, I started The Bicycling Store where I invite people to learn more about bicycling.

Today I’m confident riding anywhere anytime, although earlier I had enough trouble with cars and crashes I thought I would have to give up bicycling to save my health and even my life. But, I changed the way I think about bicycling, I stopped avoiding traffic, I stopped blaming, and started thinking about getting along.  Maybe I could ride with traffic. Maybe I could learn skills. Maybe I could find successful bicyclists I could learn from. Maybe I could learn to change my behavior and get better results. Maybe I was going in the wrong direction increasing my traffic avoidance with unpleasant incidents.

I started looking at examples of more successful riders, reading books, taking classes and became certified to teach through the LAB. I started my own investigation of Washington State bicycle fatalities that completely changed my understanding of crashes. 

But, I still had a lot to learn before I could become confident with traffic. Here’s the one thing I did that really made the difference - I deliberately looked for difficult traffic - I rode my bike out into increasingly difficult traffic, testing the limits of bicycling skills.

I felt responsible for the advice I was giving my students. And I needed to know the limits and where it would fail. But, instead of failure, I just learned to handle all the traffic I could find.  And I was really surprised when that awful apprehension I had felt disappeared and was replaced with calm confidence.

Well, thats a lot to absorb, but then I noticed something that made a powerful connection to my bicycling. The latest research on the brain/mind is refuting one common belief after another and replacing them with tested outcomes. They all say the same thing: learning to face life’s difficulties and overcome them with a love of learning, resiliency in the face of failure and the ability to change and adapt to your circumstances is a brain/mind healthy approach to your life. 

That fit my bicycling and added a lot more. Why not have your bicycling be consistent with the kind of confident, competent person you want to become so they work together?

Now.. We are here for traffic calming so I’m assuming we’re interested in having a calmer experience bicycling. 

So, can I see a show of hands: How many people here bicycle? (many) and those of you who bicycle how many of you are concerned and you might even limit where and when you ride? So that's basically all of you. (same hands up).

How many people here drive cars? How many of you drive cars, when you see a bicyclist you're more concerned maybe than you would be if you just saw another person driving a car? (Same hands)

I see all lot of concern here. I’ve spent almost 25 years working on this developing a lot of techniques that have allowed me to change my behavior that really pre-empts a lot of bad driving and really changes other people's behavior.

So if you're interested in a different way of thinking about bicycling in traffic and evaluating your options I'm available at the store by phone all day and by appointment and I try to be in the store 4-6pm. And I'm available for just conversation, I have really amazing conversations at the bicycling store, I just see which people want to go a little deeper. There's a number of conversations that have gone on for an hour or two and people saying “Wow, I just never thought about it that way before.” So whether you just want to have a conversation, or get on your bike and try some bike handling skills or traffic skills, that's fine. 

And I really love showing people how to ride for the first time.

Newsletter #68

Bicycling With Mandela

My hero, Nelson Mandela died this month. From prison to negotiator to President, Mandela was known for ending the racial discrimination and segregation program of Aparthied. In that process the challenges he faced inspired him to change the way he thought so his personal example touched our souls and changed the world.

Facing the challenge of ending Aparthied is enough, but doing it with the impossible limitations of imprisonment and isolation, he simply adjusted his thinking to take advantage of the difficulties to learn how to overcome them.  With more time to think, he revisited past mistakes and times he treated others poorly and with his inmates a protocol of communication was established that he practiced so well he turned a prison guard into a lifelong friend. He emerged from prison prepared and practiced as no other for the difficult task of turning South Africa then on a seemingly inevitable path to a bloody racial war and turned it instead into a diverse democracy. It was prison that changed him Mandela said.

The behavior of embracing life’s difficulties has been found by others who successfully overcame their difficulties, and its now being confirmed by modern research on the brain and mind to have better  outcomes. Facing difficulties and overcoming them beats avoidance for comfort, security or financial reward.

When you think of bicycling how do you think? Are you thinking with Nelson Mandela, or against? 

Newsletter #55

Ever overhauled a bicycle bearing? 

Lately, I’ve introduced a few customers to the bike mechanics of bearings.

One customer helped rebuild a Store bike for purchase at a lower price than if I finished it for sale. Another rode in with a bad pedal that we rebuilt with new balls and grease. A couple inherited a long unused bike and we replaced the dried out grease in the crank and wheel bearings as the three of us sat across the folding table passing the tools, grease and parts around along with the conversation. 

My thanks to Chris for this message from my inbox: “I have been really happy about my bike ....  Thanks again for helping me learn the basics and practice is the best way to get better...”

Newsletter # 51

Two ways of thinking

Have you noticed Seattle bicycling becoming popular through a political process rather than a personal responsibility and bicycling competency process? In the store and on the street, I’m surprised by the strong connection this thought can get.

The two ways of thinking generate opposite conclusions: what one sees as safe and comfortable the other may see as dangerous while making them uncomfortable for the unequal treatment of people by vehicle. The political process has a goal of bike facility programs and budgets. Facts that work for the politics are carefully selected, those that don’t are rejected, with emotional buttons pushed to justify and motivate.

A personal responsibility process embraces challenges and learning to get along more broadly with other people first, before asking for special treatment. When we have the discipline to check our bias and interrogate our thoughts, options are generated, evaluated and tested for outcomes.

"That’s not a bike” I have said, as I point to a bicycle in my store. “Thats my life when I learn bicycling in a way that sets an example that helps me learn more about life generally.” 

Newsletter #56

23rd Avenue

This Saturday has another open house and workshop on 23rd. Previously I wrote my concerns to the city about:

  1. Removal of the passing lane for faster traffic, then
  2. Widening the lane but not enough for large vehicles to pass a bicyclist.
  3. Routing bicyclists to minor streets


When people travel at different speeds, a passing lane accommodates.

The proposed single wider lane allows smaller vehicles to pass a bicyclist but not large vehicles so the bicyclist has a far more difficult time. To cooperate with smaller vehicles the bicyclist would move right to share, but with large vehicles the bicyclist would move left to discourage unsafe lane sharing. 

With the current narrow outside lane the bicyclist can use the center or left of the lane presenting a profile that is very convincing that the lane is occupied so faster traffic more predictably switches lanes earlier passing safer. With the wider lane, the bicyclist now continuously monitors following traffic for size and adjusts lane position. 

Routing bicyclists to minor streets leaves bicyclists crossing all streets, minor and major, from minor streets. Also, parked cars on both sides block sight lines while opposite direction traffic shares the single lane.Thats why bicycle drivers prefer major streets, for the intersection safety improvements, better sight lines and less conflict with opposing traffic.

What is The Bicycling Store?

The Bicycling Store started from scratch in August 2012 to test the concept that 

far more people would bicycle and bicycle with greater safety and confidence

if they had a store that prioritized their bicycling experience.

And that includes more than just the bike, gear and repairs.

The Bicycling Store includes learning about your bike:

  • How to check your bike for condition and safety 
  • How to make adjustments and repairs

And learning about your bicycling:

  • How to handle your bike and avoid most crashes
  • How to negotiate traffic with success and pre-empt or ride around problems, even bad driving 

So, The Bicycling Store is more than just a bike shop?

Yes, I do repairs, sell used bikes but much more

Isn’t successful bicycling your top priority?