Bike Safety Training Event Coincides with Uptick in Bicycles Sales

The First Selectman’s newly formed Sustainability Committee held
one of the first in-person bicycle safety training for elementary school students on Sept 12.

Supported by Greenwich Police and Pedal Greenwich, the event attracted over 50 participants. The area stretching behind the building of the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center became a stage for the several stations carefully planned by subcommittee member, Nerlyn Pierson.

Dan Castrigano helped kids learn to ride in a straight lane. Contributed photo

Transportation and Air Quality Subcommittee of the Sustainability Committee recognized the influence the pandemic has had on the town’s bicycling community, including school-aged children. The notable uptick in bicycles sales has been widely reported, and Greenwich is no exception. With the increase in ridership and the scarcity of proper bicycle lanes in Greenwich, the subcommittee prioritized teaching bike safety for this upcoming generation of cyclists.

Celebrity Officer Asphalt made an appearance. Contributed

Aleksandra Moch, environmental analyst for the Conservation Commission and chair of the subcommittee, said, “Facilitating a stronger cycling community in town is a focus of the subcommittee. Making sure this next generation of cyclists are safe and enthusiastic is important to perpetuate cycling.”

These stations ran from learn how to ride to a tough maneuver between tightly set objects. Challenging rides put the participants’ skills up to the test. Vincent DiMarko, who instructed the slow race stated, “It is all about control of the bike while keeping pressure on the brakes and pedals.” Daniel Castrigano demonstrated how to set up for turn using a slalom course.

Bob DeAngelo, well known from bicycling across America kept saying “bikers have to take care of their body and stay fit” before leading the participants through a number of fun but strenuous set of exercise.

The event was by appointment only, but inclusive to all. To assure this inclusivity, bike donations were accepted, and Greenwich Police supplied new helmets.

Officer Andrew Greco welcomed the opportunity to give away needed helmets, stressing their importance and cautioned “Do not ride a bike without one.”

Other services offered included a condition check of each bike a staff member of Greenwich Bicycles, officer Rob Smurlo thought rules of the road in fun and simple way, and local celebrity from Petro Pal books, “Officer Asphalt,” made an appearance.

The Transportation and Air Quality subcommittee of the Sustainability Committee works to identify means to protect and enhance the air quality of Greenwich by fostering cleaner transportation alternatives. For more information about the work of the Sustainability Committee please contact Jill Oberlander at [email protected] or Patricia Sesto at
[email protected]