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Brooklyn Kids Learn to 'Bike Like Drivers' to School

Bike New York holds a clinic to teach bike skills in the hope that more kids will bike to school

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The number of kids who bike or walk to school in the US has fallen from nearly 50 percent in 1969 to 13 percent today. The group Bike New York is trying to change that statistic, by holding free clinics that teach kids to bicycle safely to school.

"Kids, parents, any adult rider, they get very nervous when they think about riding their bike in New York City street traffic," says Emilia Crotty, the bike education manager for Bike New York. "But if you ride predictably and visibly...if you're stopping at red lights and if you're stopping at Stop signs, you're going to be much more comfortable and confident on the street."

A recent "Bike Like A Driver Clinic" held at Middle School (MS) 51 in Brooklyn taught kids skills like starting, stopping, scanning for traffic, signaling and how to make controlled turns.

"They are outside, they are getting some exercise. It's a great thing," says Erica Tovaris, whose son and daughter are participating in the clinic. Tovaris' daughter will be biking to school for the first time on Wednesday on a ride organized for MS 51 by the Department of Transportation.

The ride was originally planned for October 6, but was postponed to October 13 due to the threat of rain.

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