If anyone knows how to have a good time on a bike, it's a kid.
Haman Elementary School held its first Family Bike Night last week, in which over 100 students and their parents brought their bikes and enjoyed an evening of biking activities. They were greeted with race plates to mount on their bikes, water bottles to stay hydrated, and a blacktop waiting for their bikes. Big Wheels, scooters, training wheels, kids bikes, and even adult bikes covered the blacktop for two hours as everyone pedaled away the evening. Calmar Bicycles graciously provided a mechanic who pumped tires and performed safety checks to make sure all the bikes were safe to ride. The local bike shop also provided Specialized Demo bikes for those without bikes or ill-fitting bikes to try for the event as well as several amazing volunteers!
Once the attendees were checked in and ready to ride, they could choose from a paper delivery toss where newspapers needed to be delivered to three different houses, a snail race where the slowest rider wins, an obstacle course with a teeter totter, or a spinning wheel filled with safety trivia. The smiles were endless as riders conquered the teeter totter or managed to make each basket full of newspapers! It was amazing to see how many students owned bikes considering only a handful ride them to school. How can we get these students to ride to school? Better yet, how do we get parents to feel comfortable letting their kids ride to school?
There is hope! The following morning was Haman’s Walk and Bike to School Day and it was heartwarming to see a student ride to school with his race plate still mounted on his bars. As the morning progressed more students than usual signed the “I walked/biked” poster. Small but important steps on the way to a healthier future for these enthusiastic students!