It was a cold day but that wouldn't stop a dedicated group of would-be bike trainers.
Last Friday, the MassBike program team led a workshop for adults interested in teaching children on-bike skills and bicycle safety in Fall River, a community that has seen significant momentum build for bicycling since the city was designated a Mass in Motion Community. Participants included staff from the local Boys & Girls Club, Fall River Police Department, and members of the Fall River Bicycle Committee.
[caption id="attachment_22055" align="alignright" width="277"] A glimpse of the picturesque path along South Watuppa Pond Path.[/caption]
Fall River has made some significant gains for bikeability recently. Mass in Motion Coordinator Julie Kelly has been instrumental in two significant community-led initiatives: the formation of the Fall River Bicycle Committee--100 member-strong after just two years in existence--and the construction of the 0.6-mile Watuppa bicycle and recreation path, which is the first leg of the future Fall River Regional Bikeway. The picturesque path runs along the northern shore of South Watuppa Pond, from near the Westport line behind Lepage’s on Route 6 to Brayton Avenue near the Route 24 exit ramps.
The three hour-long workshop incorporated an engaging in-classroom discussion on 1) basic rules of the road 2) how to perform the ABC Quick Check and 3) proper clothing choices and helmet and bike fit. The workshop also included an on-bike portion, which included parking lot skill development and a community ride to increase participants' comfort riding in traffic and on paths. MassBike's extensive resource library includes bicycle safety education handouts for children and parents (pdfs are here and here).
Participants asked some great questions and enjoyed the opportunity to ride their bikes on a Friday afternoon. A full write-up of the evening's training session can be found at the Healthy Fall River's website (link here).
As part of our Bikeable Communities Program, we offer a number of services, such as Bicycle Planning Assistance to facilitate a strategy for implementing bicycle-related projects, Bikeability Assessments to evaluate a community’s current state of bike-friendliness, and Bikeable Communities Trainings to help local advocates engage with key stakeholders and understand how to improve local infrastructure conditions.