Longmont Adventure Bike Camp Focuses on Safety

By Brad Cochi Longmont Times-Call Posted: 08/05/2011 05:40:34 PM MDT LONGMONT — Biking around on summer afternoons is an excellent thing for kids to do. But, only if they do it safely. Thanks to the weeklong Adventure Bike Camp, Longmont kids have a place to learn the safety basics. “It’s about taking young kids who are just getting into biking and teaching them accident avoidance skills, bike handling skills and really giving them confidence to ride,” said Buzz Feldman, who runs the camp. Assisted by counselors Pati Walker and Jason Goldsberry, Feldman teaches kids biking can be fun, bust must also be safe. At Adventure Bike Camp, which met at Roosevelt Park for five days this week, campers learn what to wear when riding and how to check the bike for safety before they even get on their bikes. Then, they practice exiting a driveway, scanning, hand signals for turning and the rules of the road. Once they’ve got the basics, campers practice riding through obstacle course and relay races. They learn how to read maps and plan trips. On Thursday, the kids went on a 10-mile round-trip ride to Left Hand Creek Park “It’s the furthest any of them have every ridden in their lives,” Feldman said. “A couple of them were nervous about that, and didn’t even want to go. But they got into it. When you challenge yourself, it’s amazing what you can do.” At Left Hand Creek Park, Feldman taught the kids how to repair a flat tire. Simon Quince, 11, showed up bright and early on his bike Friday, trailed closely by his nine-year-old brother Everett. For kids like Simon and Everett, safety courses like this one are a must for their parents to allow them out on their own. If he didn’t know about safety, Simon’s parents wouldn’t let him ride his red mountain bike to play games on Main Street all the time. “I ride my bike lots of places,” Simon said. “We go mountain biking and ride around on the streets.” The Quince brothers picked up some new tricks at camp, too. “We learn different techniques like rock-dodges and stuff,” Everett said. As if a ride to Glacier Ice Cream on Friday wasn’t enough, kids earn coins for completing tasks and attentiveness, which they traded in for biking schwag on the final day. “We reward them for attentiveness, participation and for doing things right,” Feldman said. Simon and Everett each got a coin for arriving early on Friday. Their plan was to pool their coins to get another bike lock. They’ve been sharing one between them.

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