Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saddle Up for a Bike Rodeo...

Fairfax County Police and Trails for Youth are teaming up to help your child develop safe biking skills at a Bike Rodeo on September 25th. The event starts at 9am at Clermont Elementary School at 5720 Clermont Drive, Alexandria.

To take part in the bike rodeo, Julie with Trails for Youth says kids must be able to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels. They should also have a helmet--though some may be made available.

According to Bruce Wright with Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling,  or FABB, the bike rodeo is in part, a response to the death of 9 year old Rebecca Johns, who was killed while riding her bike across Franconia Road.

Wright also reports on another event designed to help kids boost their bike-safe savvy: On the same day, Saturday the 25th, a Bicycle Safety Clinic will be held from 2-3 p.m. at 6400 Nativity Lane, Burke. A Fairfax County Policeman and a Registered nurse will speak about the safe way in which to handle a bicycle. For ages 7-11 with adult. Free.

In my travels, I came upon bike rodeo in Antwerp, Belgium.  You can see the focus these kids had as they passed their 'road test'--they were bursting with pride when they finished. It was a joy to see.

The kids were having a blast learning life-long cycling skills in a country where bikes are serious fun and a major transportation tool. Here in the US, where bikes are still seen in many quarters as an impediment, not another vehicle on the road, it seems that a solid foundation in safe riding--and yes, that means obeying the traffic laws--is critical.


  1. Please note that the photos in this article are not from a event, which requires helmets to be worn at all time.

  2. Thanks chowder. I hope it was clear from this entry that the photos were taken in Antwerp, Belgium (it was by the way, Car Free Day 2006!) But you bring up a very good and important point, which often becomes a point of contention. I'll post about helmets soon, but note that in my travels in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany, those who wear helmets are usually involved in racing, training for racing, or who feel a 'car creep' (more congestion from 4-wheeled rather than 2-wheeled vehicles)in their ubran settings. More on that in another post.

  3. your write up was wonderful. Just pointing it out as a redundancy and perhaps to remind folks that helmets are required for children in the dc and surrounding suburbs.