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Queens Chronicle

Kids take off the training wheels

Community Bike Education Center opens at Victory Field in Forest Park

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2019 10:30 am

The Community Bike Education Center at Victory Field in Forest Park was christened last Saturday with a class for children ready to ride on two wheels for the first time.

Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) said he learned to ride in the street as an 8-year-old “when not that many cars were around.”

“Once you learn how to ride a bike, you’ll never forget,” Holden said. “I can still do it. I think I can.”

The lawmaker also noted the importance of safety.

“How to ride a bike safely in New York City is a challenge,” he said. “We know that ... but we want to ride in protected bike lanes, obviously. And we want to have safe riding and helmets.”

Ken Podziba, president and CEO of Bike New York, which operates the center, said the organization’s goal is to “empower New Yorkers to live healthier, more active and productive lives.”

“I expect to see a lot of new young riders riding safely on the streets of New York City,” Podziba said. “You’re our generation of next riders.”

Holden asked how many of the kids were able to ride two-wheelers, garnering no reaction. But when Podziba asked how many were going to learn Saturday, they all raised their hands.

Kevin Tschirhart, chief of staff for Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), told the children that learning to ride a bike is the first bit of freedom and independence they are able to experience.

“Once you learn, you go out with your friends,” he said. “The parents aren’t there, just you and your friends.”

Tschirhart added, “I think that’s really exciting for you guys.”

There are 14 Bike New York locations in the city including three in Queens: Forest Park, Flushing YMCA and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

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