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Over the weekend, we got to do something we love, host a "Kidical Mass – Family Fun Ride" 

Two or three times a year, we host these rides for children, where we teach them about starting and stopping, signaling, and other basic bike (trike or even balance bike) handling skills.  We set up a skills course, the kids get to ride the course, practice their skills, and then we go for a ride on our local streets.  And most importantly, we get the parents involved.

As much fun as it is to work with the children, when you only have a few minutes with them, it's more important than the parents also learn too, because what they teach their children throughout the year is so much more important.  Things like choosing to walk instead of driving everywhere, or getting out to explore with you on their bikes.

Today, more than ever, we see children regularly bundled into car seats, and given screens to play with as they are shuttled here and there.  This past Wednesday was International Walk to School Day, which sounds fun, but that we need to have such a day is telling also.  In 1969, 89% of the children who lived within a short of school walked or rode their bikes.  But with the rapid spread of sprawl, and traffic increased, more and more parents felt it was unsafe for their children to walk or ride to school.  In recent years, studies show that only about 13% of all children now walk or ride their bikes to school.

The lesson these children are learning: if you want to get somewhere, get in a car.

And this is why we need parents to get involved.  We're not saying ditch the car entirely (well maybe some of us are), but instead of getting in the car to go somewhere, get out for walks with your children.  Ride your bike with them.  Walk/ride to the park, or the store, or to go out to eat.  Make it your own family fun walk/ride.  And maybe, start your day by walking your children to school.  We know for some of you, your child's school may be too far away, so why not park a few blocks away (rather than fighting for a close in space) and walking the rest of the way.  It's about making walking and riding a regular, normal part of how you and your children get places.

Don't wait for us to host another Kidical Mass, get out there and get active.

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Out thanks to the El Paso MCAD for allowing us to be a part of Chalk the Block 2017, and if you would like to help El Paso become a more walkable/bikeable community, or you would like to support any of our events or educational programs, why not JOIN Velo Paso TODAY!

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