Hundreds of bicycle enthusiasts participated in the fourth annual Irving Bicycle Fest at the Lively Pointe Youth center and Skate Park on May 11.
Hosted by the City of Irving and the Irving Bike Lane Task Force, the event promoted bicycle safety. Participants enjoyed a variety of attractions including a 28-mile and 15-mile bicycle marathon, BMX stunt shows by Big Time Action sports, kids’ bicycle safety rodeo and a number of bicycle safety related vendors. Participants also had the opportunity to have their bicycle “safety” inspected.
A main attraction at this years’ Bicycle Fest was Hard Hats for Little Heads, sponsored by the Texas Medical Association and a number of local physicians. Irving youth who participated received a free helmet fitted to their individual size.
Eight-year-old Natalie Le rode her bike in the safety rodeo. Her father, Thuan Le, said that Natalie was very excited.
“It’s pretty great. It’s the first time we’ve came here, and we enjoy it,” Thuan explained. “We had a dentist appointment today. We cancelled it and came here.”
The safety rodeo consisted of an obstacle course along with a few street observation signs. Bicycle safety instructors assisted the youth participants throughout the course and ensured that each adhered to proper bicycle safety techniques.
The Big Time Action sports team performed a BMX-style stunt show every hour at Saturday’s event. The admiring crowd watched as the bicycle professionals demonstrated their skills, including their ability to flip in mid-air.
The stunt team also encouraged crowd participation. Four volunteers were asked to lie down side-by-side on the ground while the stunt team jumped over them with their bicycles. During their show, the team discussed the importance of bicycle safety and how to properly inspect a bicycle before riding. Bicycle safety instructors also demonstrated how to properly wear a helmet and emphasized the consequences of not wearing safety equipment while riding a bicycle.
Along with bicycle safety, the event focused on to promoting a healthier, “go green” lifestyle. An exciting attraction at this year’s event was the smoothie-blending booth. For a small fee, participants were able to manually blend their own fruit smoothie by pedaling a bicycle.
Francesca Funkwith the Bike Lane Task Force coordinated the bicycle safety event. Her passion for cycling is evident in her experience as a biking enthusiast. Cycling is Francesca’s preferred method of transportation.
“Cycling is one of those things that is a total good. It’s good for your body. It’s good for your mind and it takes away the mental cobwebs. It makes you lean and strong in your body. It’s good for your wallet. It saves you money and it’s good for the planet. “Everything about it is good,” Funk explained. “I wanted to do what I could to make Irving more bicycle friendly.”
Coordinators of the event hope to encourage Irving residents to get involved in cycling. The Irving Bicycle Fest served as a kick-off for “Bike to Work” week, which began on May 13.
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