With Seattle being a large and hilly city, there are *good* roads to ride on and there are *bad* roads to be on a bicycle. There are a number of classic rides that are on safe roads with either good shoulders or bike lanes like Leschi to Seward Park, around Mercer Island, or along the waterfront from Downtown to Magnolia on the trail.
Here are some of the top rides listed in order of difficulty:
1. Gasworks Park to either Ballard or the other way to Kenmore on the Burke Gilman trail. Flat and on bike trail.
2. Ride around Mercer Island, it is slightly easier going clockwise, but either way is good. Rolling hills, 13 miles.
4. Leschi to Seward Park, can either add in a loop of Mercer Island riding across the 90 bridge or keep going South and go to Renton, pick up and connect a few sections of trail and come back across Mercer Island for a “Southie”
5. West Seattle to Downtown, start from Alki for the best views by bike looking at the city from across the water. From Alki you can go South to Lincoln park for a fairly flat and scenic salt water view ride and if you don’t mind riding on gravel you can ride through the park and play on the beach.
For bad roads, I never like seeing anyone ride “up” or South through the arboretum. There is no shoulder and it is very dangerous and slows cars down. There is a good bypass route parallelling it up through the neighborhoods. Here is a good list of rides and maps for more advanced riders http://www.seattlebiketours.org/members/library.html
A few good resources to learn these routes are the Cascade Bicycle Club, they have hundreds of daily rides around Seattle, or you can hire one of our Coaches to teach you the best route for your commute or help you create a few training rides from where you live.