Local News

Bike embedded in tree part of Vashon Island’s lore

bike1VASHON ISLAND — Clams, tall trees and strawberries are some of Vashon Island’s most recognizable attributes.

So too is one piece of folklore that has been embedded in Vashon Island’s identity for more than half a century.

A child’s rusty bike is implanted in a tree on Vashon Island. A few feet off the ground, the bike has had residents of Vashon Island arguing about its origin for decades. Did a child leave it right before he died of a horrible disease? Did a soldier forget the bike before going off to war? Or, did little green men have something to do with the implanted bike?

According to Jack Chambers, a Vashon Island resident, the notable bike does have an interesting history.

“As lore would have it a young boy in the early 1940s was riding his bike in the forest ” Chambers said. “He leaned it up against a tree and for some reason walked away. The tree grew around it and up and away it went into the trees.”

It’s no surprise, Chambers said, that the bike has become something of a legend. Restaurant staff of the Red Bicycle said the bike is more than just a rusty child’s toy stuck in a tree.

“I think there is magic in that bike,” said resident Chris Fournier.

Fournier said the bike is a symbol of the quiet– and sometimes quirky– island lifestyle.

“It’s why the folklore is more important than the tree,” Fournier said. “It allows your imagination to grow. Who else has a bike in a tree?”

Who else, indeed?


7 Comments to “Bike embedded in tree part of Vashon Island’s lore”

    Brian Puz said:
    December 26, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Wow, the bike belongs to my dad. He hated it since it was for a small child and left it in the woods.

    adair Puz (third generation islander on both sides) grandfauther started island papper with the name said:
    December 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    his other child it was given too him after his family home burned down …. it was a girls bike….his fauther died in the fire… yes he left it while playing with friends he lived not far away.. if you guys did your research you whould have had my grammas story in the beachcomber… or the interview my dad did with reporters i think in china … the only credibale guy you had was the guy at the red bike i was verry sadand disapointed in your lousy coverage for this story…

    Heidi H. said:
    December 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    There’s an awesome shop that’s been open on Vashon Island for 16 yrs. called VASHON ISLAND BICYCLES
    -they have island maps and rent bikes and are real friendly and helpful! Store sign was by island artist and is of bike in tree!

    Morty the Dog said:
    December 27, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Here's a link to a news article answering this mystery, confirming the comments of Brian Puz:

    Morty the Dog said:
    March 5, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    New photos, taken March 2013: http://www.mortythedog.com/2013/03/morty-comix-25

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