In our efforts to make Stillwater an ever-greater “Bicycle Friendly Community” our Sustainable Stillwater MN team, along with volunteers from Stillwater Sunrise Rotary, have provided volunteers and supported the “Bike to School Day” on May 4th and the Stillwater Police Department’s “Annual Bike Safety Rodeo” on May 14th.
BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY:
This year, five of the seven schools in District 834 participated in Bike to School Day on May 4th. Bike to School Day is an annual event to focus on schools creating a safe and fun event where kids can ride their bikes to school. Many schools had treats and celebrations waiting for them upon their arrival.
Bike to School Day is designated by the national Safe Routes to School organization which is committed to continually improve the infrastructure, capabilities, safety, and opportunity for kids to be able to ride their bikes to and from school. Creating the safe infrastructure and environment can be a long-term process, but is a very important part of making any community more “bicycle friendly”.
The schools participating in the Bike to School event were: Lily Lake, Andersen, Lake Elmo, Brookview, and Afton-Lakeland. Thanks to Jennifer Cherry at the District for helping organize the event, and the Principals and staff did an excellent job at all schools preparing for the event itself.
Although the weather was a little chilly, there was an excellent turnout of kids and bikes (and even a few scooters) for the event. Sustainable Stillwater MN and Stillwater Sunrise Rotary provided volunteers at every school to assist with the event, and even had a couple of bikers ride in with the kids to Andersen.
This year’s District 834 Bike to School event was a HUGE success with what appeared to be about 30 to 40 and up to about 150 kids biking at each of the schools.
SPD ANNUAL BIKE SAFETY RODEO:
This annual event is organized and put on by the Stillwater Police Department. The bike rodeo has a designed course with specific bicycle “stations” where kids can practice specific skills, such as: quick turns, quick stops, looking for traffic when starting, hand signals, etc. These skills are very important for kids who are starting to learn to bike, and have learned balance and some basic skills, but need to improve their skills to be safer and more confident for riding around town. The confidence and safety of kids riding is another key element of continuing to make Stillwater a more “bicycle friendly” community.
Prior to riding on the course, volunteers were available to check over the bike, make necessary adjustments, and also to do helmet checks, to assure the kids safety.
After trying out the course and improving their skills, the kids were treated to hot dogs and root beer.
Thanks to Brad Junker and all of SPD for another great Bike Safety Rodeo. Volunteers from Sustainable Stillwater MN and Stillwater Sunrise Rotary were there to assist the SPD with some of the courses. It was another very successful year for the Bike Rodeo.