Seniors unleash bikeshare prank at Ballard High

It seems the seniors were busy last night.

Teachers and staff arriving at Ballard High School this morning were stunned to find an army of Lime and Ofo bikes parked in nearly every available spot in the parking lot.

These bikes are parked so neatly, one per spot, it would make SDOT proud.

“Big props to the seniors, this is outstanding!” exclaimed Principal Keven Wynkoop.

Apparently this is the annual senior prank day at Ballard High.

If you need a bike to rent right now, you know where to find one. Here’s the map in the Lime Bike app showing the location of all the bikes:

Nicely done, seniors.

(Second parking lot photo from Eric Souza on Twitter)

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

63 thoughts to “Seniors unleash bikeshare prank at Ballard High”

  1. I love it. And, one more reason not to like these bikes littering the sidewalks, waterways, private property and planting strips. Maybe they can be loaded on a truck and taken to a transfer station. Nobody rides them anyway.

          1. Ackshually, age discrimination is rampant in the corporate world – much more prevalent than racism or sexism.

            Don’t think too hard about why that is the case, Doggie Lover. Woof!

          2. Because old people are dinosaurs, cannot adapt to change, are bitter, and mostly addicted to opioids?

          3. I’m assuming you are being sarcastic and if that’s the case HAHAHAHAHA! that was pretty good Dog Lover :)

    1. If these bikes are such a great idea and everybody was using the bikes, our mischeveous Seniors are denying the owners of these bikes inventory for those profitable rides – and yes it is called ride share. On the other hand, the business model is not working even in China, where it originated. The Chinese have junked the bikes by the thousands, and even the business analysts at Forbes Magazine think it won’t work when they have to start charging market rate to rent the bikes. Come back high schoolers when you have had a couple years of business classes in college. Your opinon will be better informed. I saw one pic that showed a pile of these clunker bikes longer and wider than a football field and piled 100 feet high. Try this link to Atlantic magazine:

      1. It makes no difference if you like them or don’t like them. The companies will either keep running or they won’t. People will ride them or they won’t. The fact that you think parking all these bikes at the school denies anybody the use of them is pretty good evidence you don’t understand how they work, and probably didn’t read your Forbes and Atlantic articles very carefully. Your opinion is not well informed at all.

        I’d suggest getting out of the house once and trying one out. At least you’d know what you were talking about. But remember: if you try one and you’re still certain they’re terrible, nobody cares. It’s just your opinion. People who want to ride them will still ride them, and those who don’t won’t.

        1. ” The companies will either keep running or they won’t.”

          Oh looky, the public intellectual suddenly supports the free market.

          1. The free market isn’t something to support or oppose. It’s like fire or like rain. It simply exists. It does what it does. For those too childish to realize that life is not fair, it is dogma that markets always produce ideal outcomes. Like believing rain only falls on that which should be wet, or whatever is left after a fire is always the ideal.

            Stop thinking like a five year old, accept the life is not fair, and you accept that poverty happens to people who don’t deserve it, just as wealth can come to those who don’t deserve wealth. That’s unfair, but markets do what they do, just like fire burns what it burns. Fire is useful but it’s not God. Markets are only a tool, one tool out of many, not the ultimate tool. Worshipping the free market is childish superstition.

            Life is not fair. Get that through your head and you won’t be a conservative any more.

          2. Just wait until Mike O’Brien asks for money to prop up this failing share bikeenterprise. Oh wait, he already did that with the failed Pronto bikes which are rusting away in a warehouse somewhere in Seattle. Doesn’t Seattle have to pay back some huge federal grant, too? Former SDOT Director bicycle boy Kubley and O’Brien are cut from the same cloth. Too bad that latter isn’t also looking for a new job – maybe he will in 2019.

          3. Yep, you definitely have no idea what you’re talking about. None. Are you Jason Rantz?

      1. Uh, who wouldn’t ride on for free to try them out, or maybe for a $1? Wait until the rental rate goes up to market prices, to cover all the other ones that set unused, get stolen by some homeless druggie or maybe even carted off to a high school parking lot, all while trying to give investors a 10 percent return on their substantial investment in these clunkers.

    2. If no one rides them, there’s no need to let them bother you – the companies that have deployed them will be out of business shortly.
      However, I’m not sure how you could say “no one rides them” unless you never actually go outside in ballard.

      1. For every 25-75 bikes on the street, resting unused for 24 hours a day, maybe 1 gets ridden for an hour. If you can show this statement is not true, good for you.

          1. Accounting for the “Gee, I’d like to try this once for free/$1…” effect, do you suppose this will be a profitable venture for the investors financing this little experiment? “….a little less than one time per day.” Oh, yeah this has success written all over it, especially when it gets dark, rainy and cold, as it is half the year around here. Then there is the vandalism, theft, and how is it exactly that these bikes made it to the BHS parking lot? All rentals, right?

          1. How did people learn to play instruments before the car? Or, even, before the WIDESPREAD use of cars?

            Was there no music in, say, 1920?

          2. Is that a real question? On horses you knob. Let’s bring back the horse & buggy! The streets and parks are already caked with human road apples ;)

          3. If you think life in 1920 was fun, go back and live like that. Give up penicillin too.

    1. The kids do use the bikes. Obviously, they had rental accounts to move the bikes into the lot! My Ballard kid, not a biker, uses the bikes ocassionally. It’s great. I’m not driving and neither is she. Anyway, kids (mostly) can’t park cars in that lot. Teachers do. And if anyone deserves to park close to where they work, it’s teachers. They work long hours and often can’t afford to live close to their school.

      1. “Obviously, they had rental accounts….” or somebody just tossed them in the back of a pick-up or van and dropped them in the lot. I suggest the latter.

  2. Good work Ballard Seniors!

    Last day of school, late ’60’s, a collaborator and I conducted a fine prank at Ballard. Earlier in the year we had discovered an abandoned switch in the old auditorium which controlled the bell system throughout the entire school. We used it sparingly to occasionally call for early lunch or let classes out early. We then decided to save the big surprise for the last day of school, when we shorted the switch causing the bells to ring continuously. Because this switch had been long forgotten, nobody knew how to stop the ringing, and all classes were released. I felt mild and brief remorse when I saw the head custodian with a ladder and a wrench, removing the mechanical bells one by one to stop them from ringing.

  3. Firstly, its bike rental, not share. Secondly, the only thing you share with them is your data. Thirdly, these companies have ridiculous market valuations. Fourthly, this project was brought to you as much by junk bonds, asset inflation and low rates as much as by the senior class. Fifthly, good job seniors, you’ve given me ideas about how we can beat big brother once the machines become self aware.

    1. Hate to break it to you but if you own a cellphone and have cellphone service your provider is already selling your location information….and you are paying them monthly to make money off of you.

      Verizon’s profit margin is 44%, T-Mobil, AT&T, and Sprint are all around 25-30%. Hard to find better margins outside of military contracting and health care.

  4. I heard all the lime bikes were quickly removed by nearby tweakers and were piled near RVs, so the staff didn’t have to wait very long for parking to open up.

  5. Before they finally get rid of them they’ll get the city to purchase the floundering business for a couple million then scrape it anyway. Can you say pronto bike ?

  6. Whoooooa! Less than 50 bikes.. use of a car to get them there. Dang! Huge!
    A lot of angry people in here. Opinions galore… People so quick to throw hate over perspective and in most cases ignorance.
    We should educate ourselves before we speak.. or keep quiet until we have some understanding.
    Anyone using this as a soapbox should STFU it was a prank.. not even a very good one (sorry Ballard seniors)
    See a problem…Stop crying and do something.. all I ever hear is way was waiting.. but no action… No ideas…

    P.s. This is not national news.

  7. It is a prank and at the same time a message: Use bicycles more. It will help save our environment by eliminating some pollution from cars, and at the same time make people exercise. Congratulations, seniors, for a job well done.

  8. I’m noticing lots of hate towards LIme Bike. If you don’t like them, it’s completely fine. But as a 23 year old seattilite who uses them at least once a week, I think some should be made aware that they are frequently used. Maybe not always in the neighborhoods they are parked at, but most definitely along the Burke Gilman trail. I would say when I ride that it’s about 60% owned bikes and 40% lime bikes (or other bike rental companies). I’ve ridden them to work and so have all of my friends who don’t have cars. My friends and I have also gone on bike rides to parks using lime bikes or to get to places when traffic is insane, like the other weekend along Nickerson where only pedestrians and bikers could move. Anyway, I really enjoy using the bikes, others don’t. That’s okay. I hope the bike rental companies succeed, but if not, I suppose it’s time I bought my own bike ;)
    Good job seniors! Love this!

    1. Do you have to wear a bike helmet in Seattle?
      Wear a helmet! It’s the law! In July 2003, the King County Board of Health extended the King County bike helmet regulation (PDF) to include Seattle. The new rule went into effect in August 2003 and requires that all bicyclists (regardless of age) must wear a helmet.Nov 14, 2017

      Wear a helmet! It’s the law!
      In July 2003, the King County Board of Health extended the King County bike helmet regulation (PDF) to include Seattle. The new rule went into effect in August 2003 and requires that all bicyclists (regardless of age) must wear a helmet.
      Bicyclists throughout the county can be cited for not wearing helmets. Avoid fines, fees, and injuries by wearing a bike helmet!

      Title 9
      BICYCLE HELMETS UPDATED: November 20, 2013 Chapters: 9.01 CITATION AND PURPOSE 9.04 FINDINGS 9.07 DEFINITIONS 9.10 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS REGARDING BICYCLE HELMETS 9.15 ENFORCEMENT 9.16 EFFECTIVE DATE 9.01 CITATION AND PURPOSE Sections: 9.01.010 Title. 9.01.020 Purpose and policy declared. 9.01.030 Local municipal ordinances. 9.01.100 Severability. 9.01.010 Title. This title may be cited and referred to, and shall be known as, the “King County Bicycle Helmet Regulations.” (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18-2003: R&R No. 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.01.020 Purpose and policy declared. A. This title is enacted as an exercise of the authority of the King County board of health to protect and preserve the public health and welfare. Its provisions shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes. B. It is the express purpose of this title to provide for and to promote the health and welfare of the general public and not to create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by the terms of this title. C. It is the specific intent of this title to place the obligation of complying with its requirements upon any person falling within its scope, and no provision of, nor term used in, this title is intended to impose any duty whatsoever upon King County or any of its officers or employees, for whom the implementation or enforcement of this title shall be discretionary and not mandatory. D. Nothing contained in this title is intended to be, nor shall be construed to create or to form the basis for, a liability on the part of the King County, or its officers, employees or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of any person to comply with this title. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18- 2003: R&R 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.01.030 Local municipal ordinances. A. Nothing in this regulation is intended to limit the ability of local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce requirements regarding bicycle helmets. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18-2003). 9.01.100 Severability. The provisions of this title are declared to be separate and severable. The invalidity of any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or portions of this title, or the invalidity of the application thereof to any person or circumstance, shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this title or the validity of its application to other persons or circumstances. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18-2003: R&R No. 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.04 FINDINGS Sections: 9.04.010 Findings. 9.04.010 Findings. A. Head injuries are a major cause of death and disability associated with the operation of a bicycle on public roadways and bike paths. Every year approximately one thousand (1,000) Americans die of bicyclerelated injuries. Approximately seventy-five percent (75%) of those deaths are due to head injuries. A significant number of those individuals who survive head injuries don’t return to a normal life. They are often left with profound, disabling and long-lasting conditions. From 1989 through 1998, there were thirty-five (35) bicycle-related deaths and 2,003 bicycle-related hospitalizations in King County, including Seattle. B. Bicycle helmets have been shown to prevent head injuries suffered by bicycle riders during a crash or fall. Studies completed in 1989 and 1996 by investigators at Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound and the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center show that helmet use could reduce the number of head injuries involving bicycling by sixty-nine percent (69%) to eighty-five percent (85%). The Medical Examiner noted that of the eight bicycle-related deaths in 2000, four were not wearing helmets. Moreover, the King County Child Death Review (CDR) found that of the five children who died while riding a bicycle from July 1998 through April 2002, four were un-helmeted; the CDR experts concluded that three of the children would have likely survived if a helmet had been worn. Finally, using tools developed by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it is estimated that nearly $ 10 million would be saved annually in both direct and indirect costs for bicycle-related head injuries if every cyclist were wearing a helmet in King County. C. Educational and promotional efforts in King County have increased helmet use from two percent (2%) in 1985 to 61 percent (61%) in 1999 for children ages 5-12. In 1999, bicycle helmet use in adults was observed to be seventy-one percent (71%). However, these effects have plateaued. Additional efforts are needed to augment helmet use. D. Studies in the United States and elsewhere demonstrate that legislation is effective in increasing helmet use. Helmet laws in Georgia, Maryland, and New York increased helmet use by 26% to 40%. In North Carolina, helmet use increased 2-3 fold after legislation. Furthermore, New Zealand found a thirty percent (30%) reduction in head injuries after passage of a helmet law. Thus, regulations requiring the use of bicycle helmets enhance the effectiveness of educational efforts to reduce the number and severity of head injuries resulting from bicycle crashes. The board of health therefore finds that bicycle helmets are required for the safe operation of bicycles not powered by motor on public roadways, bicycle paths or any right-of-way or publicly owned facility located in King County, including Seattle. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18-2003: R&R No. 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.07 DEFINITIONS Sections: 9.07.005 Definitions adopted. 9.07.010 Guardian. 9.07.020 Bicycle not powered by motor. 9.07.005 Definitions adopted. The following definitions of this chapter are adopted for this title. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18-2003: R&R No. 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.07.010 Guardian. “Guardian” means a parent, legal guardian or temporary guardian who maintains responsibility, whether voluntary or otherwise, for the safety and welfare of a person under the age of eighteen (18) years. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18-2003: R&R No. 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.07.020 Bicycle not powered by motor. “Bicycle” means every device propelled solely by human power upon which a person or persons may ride, having two tandem wheels, either of which is sixteen inches or more diameter, or three wheels, any one of which is more than twenty inches in diameter (RCW 46.04.071). Within this chapter, the term “bicycle” shall include any attached trailers, side cars, and/or device being towed by a bicycle. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18- 2003: R&R No. 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.10 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS REGARDING BICYCLE HELMETS Sections: 9.10.010 Requirements regarding bicycle helmets. 9.10.010 Requirements regarding bicycle helmets. A. Any person operating or riding on a bicycle not powered by motor on a public roadway, bicycle path or on any right-of-way or publicly owned facilities located in King County including Seattle, shall wear a protective helmet designed for bicycle safety. Such helmet shall meet or exceed the safety standards adopted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 15 USCS 6004, or Z-90.4 set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Snell Foundation, the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), or such subsequent nationally recognized standard for bicycle helmet performance as the county may adopt. The helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chinstrap that shall be fastened securely while the bicycle is in motion. B. The guardian of a person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall not knowingly allow, or fail to take reasonable steps to prevent, that person from operating or riding on a bicycle not powered by motor on a public roadway, bicycle path or on any right-of-way or publicly owned facilities located in King County including Seattle, unless that person is wearing a helmet that meets the requirements of subsection (A) of this section. C. No person shall transport another person upon a bicycle not powered by motor on a public roadway, bicycle path or on any right-of-way or publicly owned facilities located in King County including Seattle, unless that other person is wearing a helmet that meets the requirements of subsection (A) of this section. D. No person shall sell or offer for sale a bicycle helmet that does not meet the requirements of subsection (A) of this section. E. No person shall rent a bicycle not powered by motor for use to another person unless the renter possesses a helmet that meets the requirements of subsection (A) of this section. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18- 2003: R&R No. 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.15 ENFORCEMENT Sections: 9.15.010 Enforcement. 9.15.010 Enforcement. A. A violation of this regulation is designated a civil infraction, to which the provisions of RCW Chapter 7.80 shall apply, except as set forth hereafter. B. Any duly commissioned law enforcement officer having law enforcement authority at the place where a violation of this regulation occurs is authorized to enforce the provisions of this regulation. C. Any person found to have committed a violation of this regulation shall be assessed a monetary penalty of thirty dollars ($30.00) for each such violation, not including applicable court costs. D. Whenever a court under this regulation imposes a monetary penalty, it is immediately payable. If the person is unable to pay at the time the penalty is imposed; the court may grant an extension of the period in which the penalty may be paid. E. The court may waive, reduce or suspend the monetary penalty prescribed herein, and may impose such conditions on any waiver, reduction or suspension as it deems just. If the court determines that a person has insufficient funds to pay the monetary penalty, the court may order performance of a number of hours of community service in lieu of a monetary penalty, at the rate of the then state minimum wage per hour. F. The first time a person has been issued a notice of infraction for violation of this regulation, if such person appears in person before the court and supplies the court with proof that between the date of the notice of infraction and the appearance date in court the person purchased a helmet that meets the requirements of this regulation, the court shall dismiss the notice of infraction without costs. Alternatively, the person issued a notice of infraction may supply the court or police department with such proof by mail, and the court, at its discretion, may elect to dismiss the notice of infraction without costs, or, if not satisfied with this proof, may require a personal appearance. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18-2003: R&R No. 84 § 1 (part), 12-4-92). 9.16 EFFECTIVE DATE Sections: 9.16.010 Effective date. 9.16.010 Effective date. A. This amendment* shall take effect thirty days from the date of its adoption by the board. (R&R No 03-05 (part), 7-18-2003). *Editor’s Note: “This amendment” refers to the amendment of this title by R&R No. 03-05, which amendment was adopted on July 18, 2003, and therefore became effective on August 17, 2003.

  9. Doesn’t get any better than that senior prank if you’re the Principal. A few dozen rides share bikes neatly parked in the parking lot? #allday #summertime

  10. Great prank Well done seniors.. But lots of hate towards the various bike share programs. Unless you are one of the investors, why do so many of you care that it may not be financially viable. It’s not like Pronto – no public money involved. If private investors lose a little – its the risk they took. And yes, I do occasionally ride a lime e-bike. They are great up the hills.

    1. I don’t hate the companies, nor what they do, just pointing out that many of the newer services we use today are essentially a free lunch. We’ll see how it works out, maybe it will endure, maybe it will fail.

      When these bike programs were announced, I expected people to be at their worst when leaving a bike after its use, but people have surprised me on that point. Humanity +1

      P.S. I do wish people we more sensitive to the use of the word “share” its doublespeak!

  11. Funny! I think I know the senior who spearheaded this idea! The article didn’t mention the porta potty parked in the principals parking spot. Good one!

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