Mighk Wilson explains how to cross the diagonal railroad tracks on Orange Avenue.
Saturday, Mighk and I taught an abbreviated Smart Cycling class to a group of teens at the Orlando Rec Center. It was great fun! I enjoyed their brilliant bike handling in the parking lot drills and their lack of hesitation to adopt good riding practices. Kids haven’t been indoctrinated into “staying out of the way,” so you don’t have to keep after them about staying away from parked cars or the curb.
People who haven’t been exposed to downtown cycling would be astounded by how easy and pleasant is to ride there. It made me think about how cool it would be if we could bring all of our youth up on safe cycling practices and the ease of using a bike for transportation. Imagine if they saw a bicycle as a viable option to the huge expense of owning and insuring a car.
These young people will be helping to lead the Parramore Kidz Zone ride on May 2. The ride begins at 9 AM, volunteer bike repair begins at 8 AM, at Jackson Community Center at the corner of Westmoreland Ave. and Carter St. The starting group will pick up more kids at four more spots along the route.
If you would like to volunteer as a ride leader for the ride, please contact Mighk Wilson at 407-481-5672, ext. 318. Let him know if you have a preference for the type of “job” you’d like:
Ride Mentors: the more the merrier. We need plenty of experienced adult cyclists to mix with the kids, demonstrate good cycling behavior, share their years of cycling wisdom, and just encourage the kids and have a good time.
Route Markers: We need two teams of two to mark the routes the day before and make sure all’s in place the morning of. There will be three routes: the shorter 4-mile little kids route, a longer 7-mile big kids route, and longer 15- to 20-mile route for the more athletic kids.
Wrenches: Experienced mechanics are needed to ensure the kids (and parents!) bikes are safe and ready to ride. We are also trying to give away to the kids some old bikes confiscated by Orlando Police and Lynx; those bikes will need some work ahead of time so they can be ready the day-of.
Helmet Fitters: Those with experience on fitting helmets are needed to ensure the kids have them on correctly.
This is a fun event. I’ve participated the last two years with the BOBbies. Members of the Florida Freewheelers and Seminole Cyclists volunteer, as well as commuters, instructors and cycling advocates. Come join us!