Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Great Turning Wheels Bike Build!

Saturday saw the 6th Annual "Wow, I can't believe how BIG this is" event at the San Jose Convention Center...the Turning Wheels Bike Build!

You, dear avid reader of this blog, know how amazing Turning Wheels is...from the money they raise through the Death Ride, to the dedicated volunteers who make it all happen - and it all comes together in mid-December where thousands of bikes are built for underprivileged kids who might not otherwise get anything for the holidays...let alone a new bike.

Watch the Turning Wheels website for the soon-to-come complete run-down on this year's build (2400 bikes, the first-ever Great Trike Race, tons of money raised on the spot, etc. etc. etc.) But I wanted to tell you of this year's best innovation while honoring Sue Runsvold.

Yes - Sue is the Founder and Fearless Leader of Turning Wheels, who first came to me five years ago in a conversation that led to their organization joining the VMC Foundation. Since then, she's led a growing army of inspiring idealists who all have the same question on Bike Build Day: "Where's Sue? Anybody seen Sue?"

She's in constant demand, what with Channel 2 needing her for a live interview, or City Team needing a signature on something, or a donor presenting a Giant Cardboard Check...and if you've never been in the SJ Convention Center's South Hall, just imagine a cigar shaped circus tent the size of a city block.

So at any given time on Bike Build Day, there are a dozen people running around trying to find Sue Runsvold. And walkie-talkies don't work, because it's too loud and chaotic. Also, there are balloons and people and boxes and bikes everywhere. But this year, someone (I think it was Dave) got really smart. The ONLY yellow balloon in the whole place was tied to Sue's belt, on a 20-foot string!

To find Sue, just look up, and as far away as she could be, you could still see the bouncing yellow balloon. Parents, is this a great idea to keep tabs on your toddlers during the holiday shopping crunch or WHAT?

Thanks to EVERYONE, especially the Board of Turning Wheels, who never fail to achieve the impossible. Thanks to the Celeb's who competed in the Great Trike Race, except for those who beat me. Okay, everybody beat me...but that big shark in the photo up above? He totally cheated - riding a TWO-wheeler. I'm calling the league.

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