Saturday, April 16, 2011

FABB at Clean Fairfax Earth Day/Arbor Day

It was a wet day at the Fairfax Co Government Center for Clean Fairfax Earth Day/Arbor Day. Fortunately the organizers moved the event inside. As a result of the rain there were many fewer visitors than expected. Despite the rain several people stopped by the FABB table and picked up maps and other bike literature, signed up for the FABB newsletter, and talked about riding in Fairfax.

Many people said they would ride more if conditions were better. It's a common theme when we are out talking to the general public. People say they want to use their bikes but they don't feel safe riding on the roads. Most of our streets were not designed for cyclists, and novice cyclists feel especially vulnerable. The main reason we teach the Cycling with Confidence class is to help cyclists learn the skills needed to ride in traffic. The county needs to do much more to encourage people to ride by providing safe, convenient bike facilities.

We had a good conversation with the representative from Inova who was at the table next to us. Inova is sponsoring Let's Move the Needle on Childhood Obesity, and we discussed the importance of kids using active transportation. It's a lifelong activity and helps them become independent at an earlier age. Kids who learn about the rules of the road when young become better drivers as they get older. They also learn they don't have to drive everywhere to get around. We plan to have a table at the event and hope to meet others who want kids to be able to use their bikes for transportation and to get exercise.

Update: See the article Going Green? It's in the Bag about the event.

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