BIKE FRIENDLY COMMUNTY
by the Bike Friendly Advocacy Council
Your Bike Friendly Community completed its CAMP VILLAGES sessions for Summer 2021. We supported The Villages Recreation Department by presenting Bike Rodeo and Safety Fun classes to your grand kids. This is our fifth year for organizing and teaching the classes. Each year we hold three sessions in which as many as 20 kids participate, though this year we limited attendance to 12 kids because of the COVID CALAMITY.
We teach safety, which means skills, rules of the road, and pre-ride bike maintenance. Each student, and some participating Grandparents, receives a fitted helmet, courtesy of the Great State of Florida through the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and University of Florida (USF) Pedestrian and Bike Safety Program. Not only is the helmet a potential life saving device, but it is also mandatory for youth under age 16 in Florida. Rose Jordan, a certified FDOT helmet fitter, leads the fitting exercise.
We present a graphic demonstration about how a helmet can save a life. Ron Hetzel, our Dr. Egg Drop, drops a raw egg, which represents a head, onto the ground where it breaks and spills its brains. He follows-up by dropping another egg into a padded helmet where it survives. The kids appreciate the gore.
We acquired a trailer full of kids’ bikes and a trailer full of adult bikes that we use exclusively for training from FDOT and USF. We thank the Wildwood Police Department for storing the trailers in its secure impound lot and transporting them when we have classes.
Dave Lawrence mesmerizes the kids with his A-B-C-QuickChek discussion. They get a hands-on opportunity to touch the various parts of a bike and help Dave prepare it for a ride. Outside, Bob Thompson leads setting up the Figure-8 course. He has done this precision installation and chalk lines at least 25 times for both Camp Villages and The Enrichment Academy. Dave Lawrence leads set-up for the scanning, obstacles, and slow-race. Everyone pitches in to fine tune the course and supervise the riding. The kids receive safety instruction, have fun, and practice skills that can help prevent injuries.
We thank the Recreation Department for the opportunities they give us to make a positive difference in our community.