Along for the ride |

Along for the ride

Jack Barnwell
CHP Officer Ruth Loehr demonstrates how to safely execute maneuvers at street intersections during a bike rodeo at Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School on Thursday.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

More than 175 helmeted children, parents and teachers pedaled down Apache Avenue in waves of bicycles Thursday morning toward Lake Tahoe Environmental Sciences Magnet School as part of a week-long bike to school event.

Portions of the organized mass ride started on the bicycle trail running along Highway 50, while others trickled in from the surrounding Meyers community.

All ended up in a mass of bicycles outside of the magnet school.

“It was so exciting to see them come in, I got a little teary-eyed,” said volunteer Rebecca Bryson. “It’s also been really exciting to see them riding all week, up Pioneer Trail and Apache.”

Bryson said all four of the elementary schools in Lake Tahoe Unified School District participated but the Lake Tahoe Magnet has been doing it on a consistent basis.

The week-long event encourages biking and walking and a group component has its advantages.

“When you do it as a group at first, you can learn that it wasn’t that hard,” Bryson said. “All the kids were excited they’ve been doing it every day since.”

Bryson said volunteers and the district hope to organize another event in the fall.

Thursday’s ride coincided with a California Highway Patrol (CHP) -sponsored bicycle rodeo, where groups of students learned different safety procedures.

Activities included a slow-ride in a straight line, which CHP officers told students was one of the harder things for bicyclists to accomplish, cross-traffic and intersection safety and maneuverability.

Margaret McKean, a nurse at Lake Tahoe Unified School District, said the activity grew from the “We Can” campaign Barton Health initiated five years ago to increase children’s nutrition and fitness.

“We all agreed that one of the biggest issues is just safety,” McKean said. “The more we can promote this, the more we can get people to accept kids riding and that it will be healthier for them.”

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