Bike Rodeo and Health Festival in Gregg Park Aims to Improve Alternate Transportation
BAYONNE, NJ--Why not teach kids to become better lifelong bike riders?
As our streets become more heavily used “we can teach (kids) early on that they can become better riders as they venture into riding along with traffic,” said Jay DiDomenico, Director, Hudson Transportation Management Association (TMA), Hudson County Improvement Authority.
The Stride & Ride Rodeo, open for riders of all-ages, takes place on Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a rain date of Saturday, June 22, if needed. Adults are encouraged to take-part too! Kids must bring their own bikes – but everything is free! (Children must be accompanied by a guardian.)
TMA’s program typically draws about 350 children and many adults. There’s nothing else “done on this kind of scale anywhere in NJ,” said DiDomenico. “It focuses on improving safety for children and adults as they ride bikes in Hudson County.”
“Our community here in Hudson County is growing in the amount of people that are using alternate means of transportation,” DiDomenico said, citing a major reason TMA works so hard to conduct the rodeo each year.
In addition, there’s a health and wellness festival right next to the ten obstacle courses. Here attendees will find a slew of tents. While the family event encourages parents and guardians to bring their bikes -- if they don’t have bikes, they can still take advantage of the health and wellness festival, separately. (TMA doesn’t loan or provide any bikes).
Attendees will have the opportunity to chat about safety and well-being with representatives from local hospitals, police departments, sheriff’s departments, and fire departments, among others.
When it comes to bike riding there aren’t widespread educational opportunities.
“No prerequisites” or licenses are required to ride bikes -- so the event “addresses that,” said DiDomenico. “When adults ride beyond the park we are going to improve their ability to ride safely (with) better control.”
Moreover, that leads to a drop in injury or fatality – just what TMA hopes to accomplish by helping people sharpen their skills.
The obstacle courses and teaching stations serve to not only instruct on the best safety practices, but also touch on some of the finer points of riding.
Some of the exhibiters will include, Skyway Golf Course, the ACT Now Foundation, Goya Foods, and Tropicana, among others.
Many of the vendors will provide giveaways, while all children will receive T-shirts and safety materials, among other goodies.
There are stations for helmet fitting, a mechanics station to assess brakes, chains, and seat heights, among other components that may need adjustments. Some 70 volunteers manning the safety stations will be assisting the kids and adults participating in the event.
Family members, parents, and guardians with their own bikes are welcome to join in on the fun and instruction as well. Appropriate for all ages, the event also includes safety and health related exhibits, face painting, and games.
GREGG PARK....The event is on Saturday June 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a rain date of Saturday, June 22, if needed.