Summer Parkways – the nonprofit groups that organizes giant car-free street parties where neighbors can bicycle and walk in the streets – is starting the season early with a child-focused three-mile bike ride in West Central on Saturday.
The ride is part of West Central’s Neighborhood Days, and it starts at A.M. Cannon Park, next to the West Central Community Center, at 1 p.m. Children riding one-, two- and three-wheeled bikes are welcome.
“The biggest difference is that for Summer Parkways we close off the streets; nothing is closed off on Saturday,” said Katherine Widing, volunteer and community outreach representative for Summer Parkways.
The group ride follows a route through West Central, and organizers will have leaders placed strategically along the route.
“And we will have a sweeper” – someone who makes sure everyone returns home – “at the way back of the group,” Widing said. “The sweeper will ride as slowly as the slowest child.”
Prior to the ride, Pedals to People will provide free bicycle tune-ups and adjustments for participating children, and there will be some free helmets available.
“The helmets are paid for by a grant from SpokeFest,” Widing said. “You must wear a helmet to be in the ride.”
Widing said children may ride on their own – after their parents sign a waiver – but that parents and siblings are encouraged to participate.
Some traffic instruction will be given before the ride starts.
“We are encouraging everyone to come with us,” Widing said. “We want this to be a family-friendly, happy and fun ride.”