Greetings from Bicycle Adventure Camp!

Safe Routes to School brought its summertime Bicycle Adventure Camp to Santa Rosa for another successful week of riding and skill-building.

The camp is offered in June to children ages 8-12 in partnership with the Santa Rosa Recreation and Parks Department. Now in its fourth year, the program had a sold out attendance of 15 happy campers.

For five days, campers rode bikes and learned street skills to help them ride safely around town. The rides were specifically designed so the kids could experience a variety of riding situations. They practiced essential skills like navigating an intersection, using hand signals, communicating with drivers, using bike trails, riding outside of the car door zone and when to “take the lane.” Each day the rides got a little bit longer, and on the final day of camp the group rode from Finley Park in Santa Rosa to Community Market in Sebastopol via the Joe Rodota Trail — a 14-mile ride!

Students also learned bike maintenance skills like how to patch a flat tire and oil chains. We learned that one camper went home and was able to fix the flat tire on her mom’s bike, to the pride and astonishment of her parents.

We also enjoyed encouraging another camper who is left-handed but was determined to ride with just his right hand so he could make hand signals with his left. Every day he took his left hand off his handlebars a little bit longer, until he could completely ride with his right hand and use his left for signals.

We look forward to offering Bicycle Adventure Camp again next summer. Visit the Santa Rosa City website for more information. Camp registration opens in February – we recommend signing up early so you don’t miss out!

–Danielle McElwee, Safe Routes to School Educator