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VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — The idea of a bicycle being swallowed by a tree may seem fantastic, but in Washington state, the "bike swallowed by tree" is a sight to behold.
The bike has been a part of urban legend for years, with stories circulating on social networking websites about how the bike came to be stranded, partially swallowed, five feet up a tree.
According to legend, a boy left his bike by the tree and went off to war in 1914, never to return. The actual story, according to Discover Washington State, is a little less romantic, but with the same result.
Helen Puz, now 99, moved to Center in 1954 with her five children. Recently widowed, she was not well off.
"People were very sympathetic and generous," Puz wrote in a document on display at the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum. "We were given a girl's bike and my 8-year-old son, Don, seemed the natural one to ride it."
Don was not very excited about riding a girl's bike, but it was better than nothing, according to Puz.
When Don told his mother one day that he had lost the bike, they both let it go because the boy had been embarrassed by it.
It was decades later that Puz read a story in the local newspaper about someone who had found a bike up a tree and realized that she knew the real story behind it.
Visitors to Roadside America have posted pictures of the bike over the years and directions to the trail. One user noted the handlebars, once missing, have been replaced.
Top image credit: Rob Hunt