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The Future of Bicycling

 

The 3rd Annual Bicycle Rodeo, set to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 14 in Clyde, promises to be a day about fun, fitness, and the future of bicycling in Haywood County.

 

Sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Town of Clyde, Haywood County Recreation and Parks and Bicycle Haywood NC, the rodeo will take place at 64 Glance Street in Clyde. Admission is free.

 

The fun begins with an opportunity for children ages 5-11 to ride their bicycles inside a specially-planned closed course, designed to instill safe habits while biking, with an emphasis on sharpening skills involving stopping, starting and controlling turns. Professionals from area bicycle shops will also be on hand to check your child’s bike for fit and safety.

 

To participate, a parent or guardian must register their child for the bike course at the event. If your child does not have a bike or helmet they can still participate. Bikes and helmets will be available in several sizes.

 

Earl Reece, of the VVA, sees the Bicycle Rodeo as a great way to address an important problem in the community.

 

“If you look at the obesity problem we have, children need to just get out and do some physical exercise,” Reese said. “The bike rodeo is a great opportunity to do that. Safety is a main concern, too.”

 

Reece credits the Board of Aldermen and staff of the Town of Clyde with helping get the project going.

 

“We discussed something that we could do in the Town of Clyde that would benefit the whole county and this is what we came up with,” Reese said.

 

In addition to the bicycle course, the Town of Clyde will have a fire truck on hand to explore and the Police Department’s K-9 Unit will provide a demonstration. Prize drawings will be held at the conclusion of the event.

 

The event will also look to the future of bicycling with the kickoff of the Haywood County Comprehensive Bicycle Plan, which will be developed through September of this year. The Plan is a project of BicycleHaywoodNC and the Haywood County Recreation and Parks Department.

  

Project Coordinator Don Kostelec, said parents and children who attend the Bicycle Rodeo will have a chance to provide input to help shape the bicycle plan.

“We really have two goals with the Bicycle Rodeo,” said Kostelec. “One, we want to gather information from the parents and kids, like opportunities for cycling, where they go when they cycle, why they attended the rodeo, and things like that. Second, we’ve been piloting a program with the League of American Bicyclists in Asheville, we’ve done several bicycle rodeos there and we want to evaluate and compare that with Haywood, with hopes of creating more opportunities for bicycle rodeos in Haywood.”

 

Free hot dogs and drinks will be offered by the VVA following completion of the course. For more information, please call Haywood County Recreation and Parks at 452-6789 or the Town of Clyde at 627-2566.