Biking to work and school


Bike rodeos, free coffee and card-and-clothespin noisemakers are a few things that make this Friday’s Bike to Work Day an all-island event. Bainbridge schools – especially Sakai – have a host of events and giveaways to encourage kids to ride to class. Squeaky Wheels will be passing out free bike schwag at the ferry terminal for adults on their way to office jobs in the big city.

Hats off to Squeaky Wheeler Joel Levin who snagged all the noisemaker makings, designed the poster (right) and is waking up early to hand out coffee at 4:30 a.m.

Checkout Squeaky Wheels’ newly refurbished website for more information on Bike to Work Day (pssst – it also has island ride maps, a detailed how-to guide for ferry commuters and a calendar of regional cycling events).

My story is below.

Islanders pedaling to daily grind on Friday
By Tristan Baurick

Bainbridge is expecting bicycles to flood the roadways on Friday.

“It’s an extremely heart warming sight to witness this sea of bicycles,” said Molly Greist, an organizer of the island’s increasingly popular Bike to Work Day.

A national event, Bike to Work Day pulled hundreds of islanders out of their cars and onto pedal-powered steeds last year. Bike commuters packed the ferries while younger islanders lined the streets en route to island schools.

For cross-Sound riders, local bike advocacy group Squeaky Wheels will pass out free Blackbird Bakery coffee and water bottles donated by the Cascade Bicycle Club at the Winslow ferry terminal starting at 4:30 a.m.

Organizers predict about 700 students will ride to school on Friday, mostly in the middle school grades.

Sakai Intermediate School and Bainbridge police are hosting a two-hour “bicycle rodeo” starting 10:30 a.m. The event features a course focusing on road safety issues and bike handling skills.

Kids attending the rodeo will have their bikes inspected and helmets checked for proper fit. Bikes without lights will get a free red blinker from Squeaky Wheels.

Sakai’s Bike to School Committee has organized a corps of parents, teachers and high school students to escort fifth- and sixth-graders from and to their homes.

“It is a wonderful, spirited and very colorful morning at Sakai with 300-plus students expected to ride a bicycle that day,” Greist said.

Students at Sakai and other island schools will receive donated playing cards and clothespins to make wheel-mounted noisemakers.

“We will have enough to put these noisemakers on every kid’s bike on the island,” said Squeaky Wheels volunteer Joel Levin. “It should sound amazing.”