A vacation from life, I thought, pedaling in place in a row of whirring machines, how nice.
Then out of the mist, a whirring of helicopter blades, and, deus ex machina, a man descends fromt he chopper to winch you aboard.
c.1400, Scottish, "fling, hurl," probably from Old Norse hvirfla, frequentative of hverfa "to turn" (see wharf). Cf. Danish hvirvle, Dutch wervelen, German wirbeln "to whirl." Related: Whirred; whirring.