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Winslow bike tour Saturday; Bike to Work and School Day follows

Speeding traffic. Narrow shoulders, some strewn with debris. And here and there, a nice, safe, comfortable bike lane.

Dana Berg of Squeaky Wheels will lead local elected officials on a bicycle tour around Winslow this morning, to look at the conditions that bicycle commuters, recreational riders and pedestrians deal with every day.

The ride runs from 9:30-10:30 a.m., and will begin and end at Bainbridge High School. The public is invited to tag along.

Among those slated to ride are Mayor Darlene Kordonowy, various city council and school board members, and city staff. Berg also hopes to see Washington State Ferries Director Mike Thorne, state Rep. Phil Rockefeller and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee in the saddle.

Berg said she set up the ride on the advice of the Bicycle Alliance, a non-profit advocacy group in Seattle.

“They said, ‘Ride with your politicians,” Berg said. “That’s the only way they can see what things are like – as we say, the good, the bad and the ugly.”

The tour will begin at the high school and wend through Winslow to the ferry terminal. From there, riders will head up Ferncliff Avenue, onto High School Road and back to the school campus.

Four stops are planned along the way, to discuss the condition of bike facilities, downtown traffic and related issues. A picnic lunch on the campus concludes the event.

The event is also a precursor to Bike to Work and School Day, slated this year for May 17.

Volunteers will hand out “cool free stuff” to riders aboard the morning ferries and at noon at Winslow Mall. Students biking to school will get a fun breakfast, and an esoteric Danish bicycle will be on display at the Sakai campus, Berg said.

Other bicycle events planned in the coming week:

l Moms on bikes (informal), May 12: Squeaky Wheels hopes you’ll take mom out on a ride through the neighborhood, to practice for Bike to Work and School Day;

l “Is Bicycle Commuting for You?” Find out at at a free seminar at 7 p.m. May 13 at the Windermere Real Estate office on Madison Avenue.

l Around-the-world bicyclist Willie Weir speaks at Sakai School and Bainbridge High School on May 14, and again at Chuck Beek’s yurt at 7:30 p.m. that evening (admission is $15 for the later event). For information and location, call 780-7869.

l Author Joe Kurmanskie reads from his work “Metal Cowboy: Tales From the Road Less-Pedaled,” at 7 p.m. May 16 at Eagle Harbor Books.

The events are co-sponsored by Squeaky Wheels and the Cascade Bicycle Club, and local businesses.

Information: Dana Berg, 842-9024, or Kitty Garrett, 842-5599.

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