Bike Education Adventure debuts last weekend in Menlo Park

by Contributed Content on April 25, 2018

Did you see a group of 4th and 5th graders wearing bright orange and green shirts riding around Menlo Park last Saturday morning? If so, you witnessed Menlo Park’s inaugural Bike Education Adventure.

Ten lucky elementary school children were given the opportunity to ride around town with Wheel Kids bike instructors to learn real-life-on-the-road bike safety skills. Parents signed up their kids via the MPAEF Spring Auction; the event was donated by Parents for Safe Routes with support from Wheel Kids, Menlo Velo and Cafe Zoë.

The three-hour scavenger hunt took the kids from Hillview Middle School, to Burgess Park via Santa Cruz Avenue and the Oak Grove Bike Lane. The kids then traveled onto Cafe Zoë for a pit stop with treats and lemonade before heading back to City Hall where parents joined for a debrief and safety Q & A.

Along the way, the kids collected awesome bike swag such as water bottles, bike bells and lights and reflective gear. Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki and his son rode with the group for part of the way. Parents for Safe Routes hopes that this event serves as a pilot for what bike education in Menlo Park can be.

Hillview Middle School students will be experiencing their own bike education event this coming Wednesday and Thursday (April 25th and 26th). All Hillview 6th graders will be led on a course through the streets surrounding Hillview and will be taught similar on-the-road safety skills. Volunteers are still needed; you can sign up online.

Some safety skills being taught include:

Be prepared. Make sure your bike is in proper working order. Bring water.

Be visible. Wear bright clothes and use reflective gear. Always use lights at night, and start a habit of using them during the day.

Be predictable. Do not weave in and out of parked cars or make sudden movements that others won’t expect. Stay in bike lanes (when available).

Be aware. Obstacles such as cars, pedestrians, other bikes, trash cans, animals, sticks, etc., can appear at any time. Always be looking around and be alert to the conditions on the road.

Be a rule follower. Treat riding a bike like riding a car. Ride in the direction with traffic (like a car). Stop at all stop signs (like a car). Do what you know is right, regardless of the behaviors you see others exhibiting on the road.

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