This week is the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin's Bike to Work Week. In celebration of this event, OnMilwaukee.com will run new bike-related stories each day.
First Ride is a group class designed to help kids ditch their training wheels and empower kids to ride on two wheels. It's a free community event and the first of its kind in the area. It happens Saturday, June 11 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Atwater Elementary School in Shorewood. The event will be hosted by Rainbow Jersey Bicycle Shop and the Shorewood Business District.
It's easy to question whether a child is ready to take on the bicycle when they can still barely cut the food on their plate or tie their shoes. Riding a bike can be a bit of an unusual sensation for a child and initially requires concentration and coordination to move in a new and unique way.
On the bike their feet have to move in circles while they attempt keep their arms stationary to control the bike. They have to learn to turn their heads without turning the rest of their body. They also have to figure out how to navigate obstacles in the street. Is that crack too wide? Is that acorn too big to roll over?
First Ride is a special workshop designed for kids 10 and under to learn how to ditch those training wheels. It's based on a unique 'balancing first' method that involves removing the bike pedals during practice. This method is less about the forward momentum and more about just feeling comfortable with their training wheels off.
Removal of the pedals means kids have more room to put their feet down and less of a chance of banging up their shins. And less banged shins means a much greater chance of smiles. Maybe even inspirational speeches?
Once they've got the basic concepts down, the children will start to learn pedaling, steady starting and stopping, and steering with control. First Ride will even properly fit your child's helmet, too.
Kids and parents from around the Milwaukee area are invited to come to the workshop. Staff from Rainbow Jersey and the local police department will be on hand to help the kids through their first training wheel-free riding experience.
Everyone will have an opportunity to show off their new skills after a week of practice by competing in short races at the opening criterium for the Tour of America's Dairyland, a 10-day professional bicycle race around Wisconsin, on Thursday, June 16.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jason McDowell
Published April 2, 2015
Basketball is a game that involves quick moves, clever tactics, and constant energy, but there is nothing dynamic about this logo. The whole thing is mirrored from right to left. There is nothing interesting about that. I want this deer to be doing something. Not running or fighting or playing basketball, but something as simple as turning its head would tell me it's a three-dimensional living, breathing, exciting team.
Published March 13, 2015
Bublr, the city's first bike share system, rolled out last year and was subsequently rolled back in before winter. But while the wheels were only on the ground for a limited time, the company still deemed it a success, coasting through the finish line with an impressive 5,500 trips. What was not so successful, however, was the confusing pricing. So as Bublr gears up to return, the company announced a new, simpler pricing structure.
Published March 4, 2015
Ramen for a dinner party is an exciting and relatively inexpensive theme to craft a dinner party around. At its very basic it only requires a few veggies and a handful of noodles, but it has the ability to unfold possibilities like a flower. During a ramen party, there is something of a slow, orchestral build until suddenly the cymbals are crashing, the violin bows are fraying and the tubas are blasting fortissimo.
Published Nov. 5, 2014
The Delphines' club shows were frequent and album releases were fast and furious. Eventually a full length album called "Hush" was released, but shortly afterward the band quietly broke up. Disappointment followed. How could we allow this to happen? This band felt like it was composed of sun-bleached driftwood, waiting for a match to drop and set fire to the music scene. It was a band that made Milwaukee's music scene vibrate. So I was surprised this morning when my phone lit up with a message...
Published Sept. 6, 2014
The theme is Steampunk, which is essentially a Victorian alternate reality in which electricity was never discovered, but steam-powered clockwork-based technology continued to move forward regardless. Thus the fashion show should feature gears, glass and leather laden corsets, top hats and other Victorian-esque paraphernalia.
Published Aug. 7, 2014
This week's weather has been a fine example of what makes summers in Milwaukee so beautiful. Looking ahead to the five day forecast it appears this fine example will continue. If you're looking for an excuse to get outside and make the most of it by engaging in a friendly competition, doing some good for your community, and maybe even learning something, too, you might consider signing up for the Amazing Milwaukee Race on Bikes (AMRoB) taking place this Sunday, Aug. 10 at noon.
Published Aug. 6, 2014
Midwest BikeShare announced their second kiosk opening today and the city is abuzz about it (or maybe they're bubbling about it?), so I had to check it out.
Published Aug. 1, 2014
If you're into unique forms of self-expression, Michael Mejia of uncoverbodyart is an artist to check out. Mejia's artistic style tends to be animalistic, with tigers, razor-toothed fish and exaggerated lizards. Beyond animals, Mejia's pattern work is also beautiful and surprising.
Published July 21, 2014
The strongest protection you have against bike theft is the perceived difficulty of what it would take to actually acquire your bike. Every lock can be cut, but in a row of bikes, you want to make sure yours looks the most annoying to acquire.
Published May 13, 2014
Wednesday, Wednesday, WEDNESDAY marks the middle of Bike to Work Week, and what better way to roll over the hump with a little competition, a friendly wager, and some additional cash for a local non-profit? The competition? A race between David Hobbs--a driver in the Indianapolis 500 and owner of David Hobbs Honda - and Ward Fowler, founding partner of the bicycle-friendly Colectivo Coffee.