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Hundreds of DC kids get new wheels for graduating bike safety school

DC kids get new wheels for graduating bike safety school

Two hundred lucky D.C. second graders got their very own new bikes, helmets and locks after spending the year studying about bike safety at school.

While the D.C. Public Schools bike riding program has been around for nearly a decade, this year marks the first time graduating kids got their own cycling gear to take home.

But before they did, DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee gave them a pop quiz on bike safety.

“There’s an A, there’s a B and there’s a C, hopefully you know what each … I see hands up already,” Ferebee said.

Sitting in rows on the floor of the Kenilworth Recreation Center in Northeast, the kids eagerly told him that “A” stands for air, “B” for brakes” and “C” for chains and cranks. The trick is meant to help kids make sure tires have enough air and that brakes, chains and cranks are operating properly.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, also on hand for the Graduation on Wheels event, said biking is a great way for kids to get fresh air and sunshine.

“Being outside is healthy for you, right? When you are outside you can play with your friends, right?” she asked the kids, who answered “Yes.”

After the adults finished speaking, the students tested their new bikes at a pop-up traffic garden at nearby Kenilworth Park, navigating curves, stop signs and volunteers wearing yellow vests and waving black and white checkered flags.

The bikes were donated courtesy of D.C. Bike Ride, the organization behind the annual 20-mile citywide cycling event. The helmets were donated by the Bell brand. Other partners include Care First, Events D.C. and JK Moving Services, which transported the bikes back to schools after the test ride.

The children come from seven schools across Wards 7 and 8, including Patterson Elementary School, Hendley Elementary School and C.W. Harris Elementary School.

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Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin joined WTOP in 2021 as an anchor/reporter covering breaking news in the D.C. region. She has loved radio since she was a child and is thrilled to now be part of Washington’s top radio news station.

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