If you missed Escuela Key (Key School)’s Fall Fiesta in October, you’re not going to like this blog post, because it was fantastic!
Hundreds of happy kids were there dancing to music, bouncing on trampolines, eating plates of food from an exceptionally international spread, and riding in the school’s second annual Bike Rodeo.
The Bike Rodeo was organized by Melissa Dalio, a bicyclist and exercise physiologist who specializes metabolic testing. She’s a mother of six, the youngest of which, Eleanor, is a second grader at Key. Melissa’s rodeo was an obstacle course on a parking lot designed to let kids have fun as well as to challenge them to learn new skills on two wheels. She also incorporated safety elements such as a crosswalk–complete with little chalk pedestrians–to practice stopping and yielding.
Melissa reckons that parents were surprised to see how much their kids liked riding bikes. Some of the kids, she said, started off a bit wobbly, but were riding comfortable within an hour.
Melissa is a supporter of universal bike education in schools, and says that “we become what we surround ourselves with.” In that spirit she would like to see her community become more healthy and fit-minded while encouraging kids to get out and pursue fitness by biking. Reminding kids to be Predictable, Alert, and Lawful, teaches them valuable lessons that they will carry on into adulthood and help keep the streets safe.
Remember, whether you’re walking, biking, or driving, it’s easy to #BEaPAL
Future PAL Volunteer Opportunities:
November 17th Block Party – Once a month, the PALs get outreachy on Arlington streets. We spread the #BEaPAL message through creative events all over the County. Join us, won’t you? All are welcome!
December 7th Pizza Party – Come out and join your PALs to plan over pizza! Every month we get together to brainstorm and scheme up future outreach ideas. These planning sessions are a great, low-commitment way to get involved for the first time. Plus free pizza. All are welcome!
There are many ways to enjoy an autumn weekend—yard work, football, washing the car—but now you can add “Reminding bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians to get along” to the list! Arlington’s PAL ( Predictable, Alert, Lawful) program aims to keep people safe as they travel to and from work, school, or play in the nicest way possible. Instead of going around yelling “BE CAREFUL!” at one another, the PAL program takes a non-aggressive approach. Our job isn’t to make people feel bad, it’s to give them tips and info to change their habits, to encourage them to think of their fellow drivers, bikers, and walkers as people, friends, and neighbors. We all have to get along out there, and being Predictable, Alert, and Lawful (PAL) makes it easy! We rely on our volunteer PAL Ambassadors to help out and spread the word. Sometimes, we’ll hold up signs, smile, and wave as cars and pedestrians slowly roll by a library in the afternoon. Other times, we’ll give away lights and reflective vests to people jogging and biking at night on a local trail. It’s hard to feel like a hero sometimes while reminding people to be safe–we’re not running into burning buildings or pushing people out of the way of speeding cars—but we are making a difference. The people of Arlington let us know when they take our advice to heart. Whether that takes the form of a friendly wave from the inside of a car, a conversation in a bike lane, or a smile and nod at a crosswalk, it always feels good to be a PAL.
Upcoming opportunities to #BEaPALSeptember Pizza Party! Thursday, 9/22 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm Come join us to eat pizza and brainstorm good ideas for future PAL events and outreach. Sign up here! September Block Party! Thursday, 9/29 from 6pm to 8pm. Once a month, PALs get together to send a message to road users. This month, we’ll be in Pentagon City. Sign up here!
There’s no way around it, February is still winter, and winter is chock full of excuses to stay inside. But in the words of a famous Michigander (my best friend), “If the weather feels too cold, you’re just not dressed warmly enough!” Pulling the Arlington PAL bike trailer around this month has convinced me that my best friend is 100% right! Layers, wool everything, rain gear, and wellingtons are trusted companions these days. There’s a certain type of satisfaction, too, that comes from taking a break or concluding a winter ride as well–a feeling of coziness and satisfaction that just can’t be replicated in the summer! So, whether you’ve fallen into a winter funk, have a resolution you want to double down on, or are just going completely stir crazy, February is the time to get out on a bike and banish those winter blues. You can join a new friend on a ride though the Washington Area Bike Forum or get your volunteer on as a PAL Ambassador or DC Bike Ambassador. Both of these programs are powered by awesome folks like you, spreading the bike-love and having fun on the streets of DC and Arlington. To Join the DC Bike Ambassadors, click here. To Join the Arlington PAL Ambassadors click here. Or come on out and #BEaPAL with us at the Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade! Click here for details and to sign up! Use the button below to follow us on Instagram: