Monday, April 11, 2011

Helping the Next Generation

One of the greatest things we can do to promote multimodal transportation is to help our children develop the skills and confidence they need to be safe cyclists and maybe to fall in love with bicycling. For the past 2 weeks we've been doing just that at Erwin Middle School. There are so many things that are right about this.Cycling is a "life sport", something that a young person can engage in independently throughout their lives. Furthermore, in today's world As we work to decrease obesity and other chronic disease associated with physical inactivity, bicycling is seen as a practical way for many to stay active as part of their everyday routine. It is especially important that youth develop these skills, confidence and love of cycling at an early age.

Another highlight from our 2 weeks at Erwin were the PE teachers who visited from other Buncombe County elementary and midddle schools. They were all enthusiastic about what they saw and very interested in bringing the program to other county schools.

This Saturday, April 16th, we will be holding a bicycle rodeo as part of the YMCA's Healthy Kids Day. The event will be in downtown Asheville from 11-4 in the Pack Square area. The rodeo will be on the College Street side of the Renaissance Hotel Parking Lot.. This event will be a "community version" of what took place at Erwin Middle School. It is appropriate for kids of all ages. If your child brings their bike, local bike shops will be on hand to inspect them for proper fit and mechanical problems. We'll also make sure your child's helmet fits correctly. We will have bikes and helmets of all sizes for children who don't bring a bike with them.

Our partners are key to the success of this program. The "we" in this program is the Buncombe County Department of Health, Asheville on Bikes, The Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, the WNC Bicycle Dealers Association, Trips for Kids, not to mention both City of Asheville and Buncombe County staff and individual community members.This program is a great example of how people in our community can share their training and resources to help schools and communities make the most of opportunities to reach children.

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