The Online Voice of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Whirlwind of Activity Attracts a Real Whirlwind

This post was submitted by Joanne Yoshimoto.  Thanks to Bike Works for the photo.

The Bicycle Alliance of Washington supported Bike Works as the gold-level sponsor for its annual Kids Bike Swap.  Last Saturday, nearly 300 families gathered at Genesee Playfield in Southeast Seattle under cloudless blue skies to trade outgrown bikes for larger bikes.  Typically, when a bike is exchanged at the Bike Swap, the "customer" is able to take home a newly recycled ride for no more than $12.

The Bike Alliance organized and staffed the Bicycle Rodeo in which kids could test-ride bikes before purchasing them.  Once fitted with a helmet, the youngsters received a basic review of hand signals and cycling technique from League-Certified Instructor Every Day.  They then rode a course with uphill, downhill, stop sign, left turn, and other commonly encountered road features.

"This is so cool," enthused one volunteer as she surveyed the whirlwind of activity.  "This is what you want to see in every community across America.  Kids and bikes, bikes and kids!"

Suddenly, the shade canopy started pitching, and papers started rustling.  Soon tables, chairs and bicycles were flying through the air.  For a long moment, kids and adults hunkered down, hoping not to be hit by the flying debris...or blown away altogether.

Then it stopped, almost as suddenly as it had begun.  The Seattle Times reported it as a "tiny twister."

Our question to Bill Nye the Science Guy is this:  Can a whirlwind of activity attract a real whirlwind?

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