Mark Lear, BTA member and head of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Programs, sent us a great story about his son Ike. Ike is 10 and recently graduated from the BTA’s 2 week, 10-hour Bike Safety Education program — part of his 4th grade school day at Rieke Elementary in the Hillsdale Neighborhood.
Here is Mark’s story:
“A couple of weeks ago my ten year old son Ike was heading to a friend’s birthday party. From past experience, I was sure the party would likely he held at an arcade, a bowling alley, a pizza restaurant, or maybe laser tag. As a result, I took off on a neighborhood bike ride with a plan to be home when my son returned from the party.
When I was riding home, a friend of Ike’s stopped me on my bike to say that he had seen Ike riding in the neighborhood. I explained to Ike’s friend that he must be confused because Ike was at a friend’s birthday party.
I was wrong. When Ike returned from the party he had his bike. His friend had requested that his birthday party be a repeat of the Safe Routes Community Bike Ride. The ride developed by the BTA’s Safe Route’s team was an amazing winding loop from Rieke Elementary School to Robert Gray School. The route is almost completely on low-speed streets with interesting and fun trail connections.
Hats off to Safe Routes to School and the BTA. When you can get kids as excited about riding their bikes in their neighborhood as playing laser tag, hanging at the arcade, or eating pizza, you know you are doing something right!”
Thank you, Mark, for sharing your son’s experience with us!
Send us your story about bicycling in your neighborhood and we might just feature it here on the blog!