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Chatham Gears Up for Bike Rodeo

Chatham will have a bike rodeo for youths this fall, in collaboration with NJ non-profit Trans Options.

On Saturday, October 6, 2012, the Chathams will have their first Bike Rodeo for youths. While the new school year may seem far away to youths who just began summer vacation, it is only a short time away for those who are planning this bike safety geared event.

While the location and time are set, noon to 2 p.m. in the parking lot, there is much left to do, according to Chatham Township Committee Member Kathy Abbott. Abbott is organizing the event and came before the Chatham Borough Council Monday to discuss it.

"There seems to be a trend for people to transport themselves with their own energy," Abbott said. She explained biking has become popular with both children and adults. "The event will start with demonstrating how to put on a helmet the right way, checking the air in your tires, and teaching hand signals for bikers." 

While the activities of the rodeo are still being determined, according to Abbott some of the ideas include having bicyclists ride a simulated road grid in the parking lot, with obstacles to pass, testing their bike safety knowledge. For example, one obstacle might be a cardboard parked car. 

The Chatham Bike Rodeo will be in collaboration with Trans Options, a northwest New Jersey based transportation-oriented non-profit. Trans Options provides programs for schools, communities, and companies, not only on bike safety but emergency ride sharing and commuter incentives. 

Abbott and the Safe Routes to School Committee have collaborated with Trans Options on educational events before, such as the this past April.

The rodeo will be an event for the whole community. Volunteers will be helping at a welcoming table, including "students from the Key Club at the high school," said Abbott.

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