PORTLAND – A new exhibit at the Portland Children's Museum puts a new spin on pedal power.
The bike bonanza is a first at the museum - it was all built there and displayed in a space that usually features traveling exhibits made elsewhere.
“We have bikes that paint bikes that make music. You can assemble faces out of bike parts. You can make your own bike models," said Ruth Shelly, Portland Children’s Museum executive director.
The goal of the exhibit’s creators was to go beyond the bike as transportation and they consulted kids to tap into the potential of pedal power.
“It was a huge group effort, hugely collaborative in the whole process," Shelly said. “We even had children helping us design a prototype and giving us input and feedback on what we were doing."
The early feedback from parents has been positive.
“It felt like coming into our garage, only a lot more fun! We're having a great time and I can't get the kids off the trainer bikes," said exhibit director JJ Rivera.
The young riders can cruise local routes via video and also learn how productive their pedaling can be.
“They have to hook up certain cables to get the power and they have to pedal to get the electricity going,” Rivera said. “It's really extremely interactive and that's what children need these days."
The look beyond bike basics just opened last Friday and kids will be coasting through the exhibit for months to come. The brakes won't halt Cycle City until the end of April.
As an added bonus, museum admission is free the first Friday of every month, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.