Taking it to the street with the “Wilday Ride”!

10-7-15 RidersThe first Wednesday in October is always International Walk or Bike to School Day!  This time we took it to the street with the first annual “Wilday Ride”, a 4 mile road ride around the Grace Wilday School neighborhood!

Working again with the Grace Wilday Junior High School in Roselle, we added a new partner, the Roselle Police Department.  We took Safe Cycling education up a notch by conducting an actual road ride, on open streets around the school neighborhood.  The key was working with a very supportive Principle, Dr. Falaise, who’s “can do” attitude and cooperation of the Roselle Police Department made this possible.

Dr. Falaise is quick to say “YES” and find a way to make things happen.  This has made offering safe cycling programs at Grace Wilday most successful.  We started off with the A, B, C Quick Check to make sure bikes were road ready.  Next we made sure all the riders were supplied a helmet if they did not have one. Then we made sure the riders themselves were “road ready” with a few parking lot drills to cover the basics.  After screening roughly 20 riders, we were able to venture out into the streets, following a unique 2 mile road loop, (twice), which included almost all right hand turns, minimizing exposure to crossing traffic.  With a police escort, we obeyed traffic law by stopping at stop signs and staying to the right.  With a police escort, we also had the extra security of knowing we had motorist attention.

With International Walk or Ride to School Day established in the school calendar and a successful example of an event which encourages young students to ride their bike, we will work to build on this success and spread it to other schools.

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