Bike-Friendly Kingston is proud to announce that we are one of only seven organizations to be awarded a grant from the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) for the Bike Information for Kids and Adults: Basic Learning and Education, or BIKABLE, program. NYBC is New York State’s premier statewide bicycle advocacy organization. Their mission is to help to transform communities throughout New York into safer, more accessible and enjoyable places to ride a bike.
The BIKABLE program targets bicycle education for underserved youth and adults from all parts of the community who are interested in learning safe biking skills. The BIKABLE youth program will support the already established youth bike club at the City of Kingston’s Everette Hodge Community Center as part of its ongoing youth programming. The Hodge Center offers a free, drop-in afterschool program with 30 to 50 participants.
The adult BIKABLE program is focused on improving knowledge and skills for safe and effective biking. It will encourage those in the community to use their bikes with more confidence and more often, to shop, run errands, get to school or work, and for exercise or recreation.
“The BIKABLE programs are needed to address the health and safety of disadvantaged children in Midtown and to empower adults in Kingston to become active cyclists,” says Tom Polk, a Bicycle Educator at the YMCA of Kingston And Ulster County.
The youth bike club will be active from mid-March to mid-June, 2016. The adult class will be scheduled in May or June 2016. Bike rides will be conducted around the Midtown neighborhood and feature stops at public parks, historic and cultural sites.
“One of the children from last year’s bike club commented that he ‘didn’t know Kingston was so green;’ we had biked to a wetland he had never seen, even though it was less than two miles from the Hodge Center,” says Mr. Polk.
The adult BIKABLE program will be the first organized adult instructional class in The City of Kingston. Learn to ride, or TS 101, classes have been held in the Albany area and in Dutchess County, but not in Kingston or Ulster County.
“Many beginner or would-be cyclists are deterred from riding because they are unsure of what to expect, feel they don’t know enough to be safe or are just not sure they can cope with traffic,” says Emily Flynn, Leader of Bike-Friendly Kingston. “BIKABLE for adults is needed to empower more people in Kingston to become active cyclists. It will educate current and potential cyclists of their rights and responsibilities as vehicle operators on public roads.”
NYBC’s mini-grant program is designed to support initiatives for better bicycling in New York State. To learn more about other projects that were funded, please visit www.nybc.net/2015-mini-grant-awardees.
For more information and to get involved with Bike-Friendly Kingston, visit www.facebook.com/groups/bikefriendlykingstonny.