With the Help of Bike Share, Ballard High School Students Pull an Awesome Senior Prank

The school parking lot was filled with Lime Bike and Ofo bicycles
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As a parent of two teenage boys, the last few weeks of the school year is like a slow, torturous, drip of a march to the end with finals, concerts, awards programs, last day parties and potlucks and signup genius lists to volunteer for this that and the other.

So when I pulled in today to Ballard High School parking lot at 7:45 a.m. this morning to drop my son off for his end of the year jazz band party, the image I saw was a sight for my beleaguered eyes: a sea of ubiquitous Lime and Ofo bikes neatly parked, one each stall, in the staff parking lot of Ballard High School.

Photo by Rachel Hart

My 16 year old immediately identified it as the senior prank. And I am pretty sure I was more excited about it than he was. All I wanted to do was get out and take a picture of the brilliant display, one of the best practical jokes I’ve seen in a long, long time. My son was mortified. “OH MY GOD MOM, NO. Just drop me off and let me get in the building first.”

One he was safely out of sight, I snapped away. Some of the teachers were already starting to haul away these insanely heavy bikes (that startlingly yell at you, by the way, when you try to move them without actually renting and unlocking them). I felt a little guilty not helping them, but figured it’s a rite of their passage, too.

Lime Bike has since picked up the bikes, according to principal Keven Wynkoop. (He also reports that Lime Bike helped deliver them as well, and used a number of decommissioned bikes to avoid pulling their good bikes off the road.)

I sent my pictures to our local neighborhood blog, MyBallard.com, anonymously because, you know, I’m a parent and on the performing arts PTA and not supposed to condone all this, right? (Nerd, I know.) And I figured it’s just a little neighborhood thing. The story is apparently starting to go viral now.

Mostly, I cannot express enough how much I love that Wynkoop, who also happens to be a graduate of the school (class of 1994), gave it props on Twitter.

“There have been a wide range over the years, but this probably my favorite,” writes Wynkoop in our email exchange this morning. “My favorite previously was two years when they came to my house and Saran wrapped my van and wrote on it “It’s a wrap!” To signify the end of their high school journey.

Photo by Keven Wynkoop

My general feeling is that if Senior Pranks are creative and they are not destructive, then good for them. Over the years I have seen so many that don’t require much thought that when they actually come up with a good idea and pull it off, I am impressed.”

So how does this rate with Wynkoop’s own graduating class senior prank?  “I think we fit into the majority of classes that talked a good game, but didn’t take the time or energy to pull something off.”

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