Today a local clinic had a FIT 4 ALL AGES festival. It featured 5 and 10K runs, information and goodies from a variety of vendors, barbecue and a fire engine. And for the first time it included a 5K fun bike ride and free bike helmets.
I got so busy passing out and fitting bike helmets that I completely forgot to take pictures! Some people had been riding without helmets, some people didn't have a helmet that fit, some people had no idea how to wear it properly. Some people didn't even ride bikes, they just like free stuff.
This was the first year a bike ride had been included so we had no idea what to expect. Turnout was fair and we had 3 groups go out for the 5K ride with a guide to help them with safety tips, etc. My "group" was a lovely family of 5. Dad had a trailer on his bike for the 3 year old, the baby was in a seat behind his saddle. Mom rode her own bike and the four year old rode her pink Barbie bike while wearing a tutu. All had their new helmets on.
This coming Thursday will be the first Bike Incubator (not its actual name) ride. It is an activity we have started to get more people having fun on their bikes. It will take place on the local bike trail and is designed to give people who are new to biking or just coming back to it a non-intimidating place to start. Several older women today expressed an interest in coming - I can't tell you how much that warms my heart.
Each time we will have a focus on bike maintenance, bike safety, riding tips or something else that de-mystifies the culture and vocabulary of biking. It is not designed to take the place of a bike club and we will not be organizing formal "rides". It is just a place where people can get together and share the joys (and struggles) of cycling. We expect/hope that it will spawn several groups with similar interests to start organizing their own rides and/or motivate them to join the local bike club.
I hope this goes well and that I can participate in more activities like the one today. Since the tour, my own rides have been less than satisfying. It feels good to ride and I enjoy it, but there is just not the satisfaction I got on the tour. It took me a while to figure it out. I really enjoy going from point A to point C, no matter how far apart they are. Turning around at the halfway point (B) and going back isn't nearly as much fun, even though the distances are the same. Sigh.