Classes teach New York City kids bike safety

July 25, 2013 1:33:51 PM PDT
Any parent who is raising their children in New York City can attest that there are some things that can be tougher to do in the city versus the suburbs.

Like teaching your kids how to ride a bike, even in a city that is seemingly so bike-friendly.

But there are now two programs to help parents and make it safe for kids to join in on the fun.

At one class, Raven Hampton was learning to stop.

"I got so scared, I couldn't find the brakes. I started pedaling to fast, I was like oh no!," said Raven.

But there's no such thing as a mistake, just a lesson to be learned at Bike New York's free summer cycling classes for kids.

The kids learn to balance, steer and signal.

But the lesson is not just about safety. They're learning that riding a bike can be a healthy active mode of transportation

"We did an amazing bike ride," said 11-year old Jordan Johnson. "We went all the way by the highway, it was awesome!"

"We want to sort of plant that idea in kids minds that a bike is the best way to get around New York," said Richard Conroy, director of education for Bike New York.

Some of these city kids have their own bikes, while others are just getting started.

With nine camps around town, Bike New York trains about 2,000 kids a summer from non-profit camps.

They also offer free weekend classes for any child, taking kids from training wheels to two wheels.

"You didn't know how to ride a bike when you came in, you know how to ride a bike when you leave," said Conroy.

If you're teaching your own kids, a lot of it is about confidence building so they learn to love it.

Funding for the program comes primarily from the 5 Borough Bike Tour.