Oak View Elementary Excels Beyond the (Bike) Bell

Standing on the blacktop under a toasty May sun, the adults who had travelled to Oak View Elementary — parents, Montgomery County officials, local advocates — all asked the same question: “Where are the kids?!”

As if on cue, cheers erupted from the open door leading into Oak View’s gymnasium. Moments later, 31 third grade students, emerged onto the blacktop, greeted by applause and cheers. After six weeks of Excel Beyond the Bell’s Pilot Bike Safety Program, today was the day they would actually go on a two-mile bike ride!

EBB students wearing their helmets, donated by Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

Back in April 2019, when Excel Beyond the Bell first began at Oak View, 70% of the kids in the program’s cohort did not know to ride a bike. It was a “unique challenge” that changed the dynamic of how this cohort would learn over the next six weeks, said Jeff Wetzel, Youth and Family Coordinator at WABA.

“At the beginning, only 30 percent of the kids had some ability to ride,” Wetzel said. “By the end, more than 50 percent of the kids were able to ride and competent to go on a 10-mile ride. Basically, they were ready for Bike Camp!

Joined by Councilmember Hans Riemer, Oak View Elementary Principal Jeffrey Cline, County officials, and other distinguished guests, each person had a similar, positive message for the students.

“Let’s keep working on this,” Councilmember Riemer said, “so that in the next couple of years, there’s the opportunity for every kid in Montgomery County to learn how to ride a bike and find that freedom for themselves!”

Excel Beyond the Bell as a program is not new to Montgomery County; it’s been around since 2010. The Bike Safety Program as an option for kids is a first. Not only did Oak View Elementary students learn how to ride, but the progressive curriculum included lessons on traffic rules, bike-handling skills and safe travel routes.

After the culminating bike ride, the Department of Recreation gave away eight bikes to students based on two criteria: progress in the EBB Bike Safety Program and a separate, essay contest where students wrote about what they would do if they had a bike. All the students went home with their own helmets, donated by Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

One of the eight students who received a bike from of the Department of Recreation.

The day was a hit, and the program will expand to two sites next school year. As Montgomery County continues to expand its support for bicycling, we look forward to to the continued success of Excel Beyond the Bell’s Bike Safety Program!

Check out the Montgomery County Council’s video on Oak View Elementary’s EBB Ride!

Splash Ride Mosey

Marvin Gaye Splash Park

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Start summer off with a low-key social ride to the Marvin Gaye Splash Park! Has it been a while since you got your bike out? Never ridden to the trail end because getting around the freeway is unpleasant by yourself? Just want to join folks to get outside? WABA Trail Rangers and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation are starting at the Kenilworth Recreation Center and riding the Marvin Gaye Trail. There is a splash park at the end of the trail and a full-sized pool at the end of ride at Kenilworth Recreation Center!

Additional Details:

Please bring a water bottle and be prepared to be outside for a few hours in late June weather. If you are bringing your own bike, please also bring a helmet to wear. The ride will be a no-drop social ride predominantly on trail, and we will make sure we’re safe as a group going under I-295. If you are planning on going in the splash park, please plan accordingly with sandals, towels, and water-friendly clothing. If you want to go swimming at Kenilworth at the end, please bring a bike lock.

There should be some bikes and helmets available to borrow for the ride.

Sign up for the Splash Ride Mosey below!

Having trouble registering? Try this link.

Thanks to our partners!

Ride to the Pawpaw Festival

Anacostia River at Kingman Island.

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

End the summer with a low-key social ride to the Pawpaw Festival! Has it been a while since you got your bike out? Haven’t ridden much because getting around the freeway is unpleasant by yourself? Just want to join folks to get outside? WABA Trail Rangers and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation are starting at the Deanwood Recreation Center and riding to the Pawpaw Festival at Kingman Island.

Additional Details:

Please bring a water bottle and be prepared to be outside for a few hours in late September weather. If you are bringing your own bike, please also bring a helmet to wear. The ride will be a no-drop social ride predominantly on trail, and we will make sure we’re safe as a group going under 295. If you plan on staying at the festival at the end, please bring a bike lock.

There should be some bikes and helmets available to borrow for the ride.

Having trouble registering? Try this link.

Thanks to our partners!

Lotus Ride Mosey

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Start summer off with a low-key social ride to see the lotuses at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens! Has it been a while since you got your bike out? Never ridden to the trail end because getting around the freeway is unpleasant by yourself? Just want to join folks to get outside? Want to see the lotuses blooming? WABA Trail Rangers and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation are starting at the Marvin Gaye Recreation Center and riding to the lotuses and back.

Additional Details:

Please bring a water bottle and be prepared to be outside for a few hours in late July weather. If you are bringing your own bike, please also bring a helmet to wear. The ride will be a no-drop social ride predominantly on trail, and we will make sure we’re safe as a group going under 295.

There should be some bikes and helmets available to borrow for the ride.

Sign up for the Lotus Ride Mosey below!

Having trouble registering? Try this link.


Thank you to our partners!

DC Department of Parks and Recreation logo
Department of Energy & Environment logo
Capital Bikeshare logo