Riding the yellow bike is free—but taking the crotch rocket is stealing.

Photo courtesy Tenino Yellow Bicycle Project

Back in June, we asked whether bike sharing would work here. A few things—the bike-helmet law, our thigh-busting hills—have kept Seattle’s public cycle project from taking off, but we have hope for the future.

But 75 miles south of here, Tenino already has a working bike-sharing program. As reported in The Olympian this weekend, a private group called the Tenino Yellow Bicycle Project has planted a dozen two-wheelers around the Thurston County town—and it’s not just about transportation.

When founders Wayne Fournier and Adam Barr released the dozen yellow bikes in May, it was as much about public art and health awareness as it was about driving alternatives. In their first summer as freebies, none of the bikes have been stolen, despite the charming "T90 DOT" markings. (Get it? "T-nine-oh"?)

Good show, Tenino. Now Seattle needs to catch up.

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