Three Middlebury events boost biking

MIDDLEBURY — Next Wednesday is a big day for young bicyclists in Middlebury, with the annual Bike Safety Fair, an abandoned bike sale, and the last Walk & Roll to School of the year.
The annual Bike Safety Fair at Mary Hogan Elementary School will be held on Wednesday, June 1, from 3-4 p.m. The fair will offer helmets, bike checks, a safety course and prizes.
There will also be a display of recovered or abandoned bikes collected by Middlebury Police Department. These will be on view starting at 2 p.m., giving owners the chance to resolve prior ownership claims. Proof of ownership can be established through proof of purchase, registration or a police (or public safety agency) report of the bike having been lost or stolen. Other documentation will be considered on a case by case basis.
From 3-4 p.m., during the fair, the police department will sell, raffle or give away any remaining unclaimed bikes that have been in storage for more than a year.
Walk & Roll to School Day happens every first Wednesday of month — rain or shine. Students and families have been great participants all year. Congratulations to Ms. Berg’s class at Mary Hogan, which had the most walkers and rollers for May. The class received the golden shoe trophy and a fancy fruit plate.
Students may be counted if they walk from at least the top of the rec park by the courthouse, on the path from Buttolph Drive to the school or along one of the walking school bus routes, or promise to walk for at least 20 minutes during recess on June 1. Middlebury Safe Routes will count those who arrived by bike, scooter, ACTR or school bus — as long as they don’t get dropped off right in front of the school by car. Students who arrive by bus are asked if they walked to their bus stops. Bookmarks are given to students and they are asked what they observed by walking that day and tips for safe walking and riding.
As the last Walk & Roll to School Day of the year, June 1 is the day when Middlebury Safe Routes takes sixth-graders on a bike ride from Mary Hogan to Middlebury Union Middle School and back to teach them how to navigate the route safely. The kids also get root beer floats.
Middlebury Safe Routes asked Mary Hogan families to complete a Parent Survey for Walking and Biking to School and got a great response (over 50 percent of families reporting). The data is being tabulated. They rely on it to track progress and get grants to improve road, sidewalk and parking lot safety, as seen in the Mary Hogan School parking lot and with crosswalk safety flags. Look for rapid flashing beacon lights coming soon to some of the more troublesome crosswalks at the Middlebury Inn, Cross Street and Creek Road.
Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Laura Asermily of Middlebury Safe Routes.

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