On September 21st, Mass in Motion, the Department of Parks Recreation, and Beaches, and the New Bedford Bicycle Committee (NBBC) came together to celebrate biking in New Bedford with its first ever New Bedford Pedal Party. The event was created with the hopes of creating greater awareness for biking and bike safety in the city. The day was planned as a two fold event, a family-friendly bicycle parade to start the day off followed by a kids bike rodeo with music, games, and giveaways.
Nearly 100 community members of all ages, including Board of Health Director, Dr. Andrade, participated in the event, which took place at the Andrea McCoy Recreation Center Parking Lot on 181 Hillman Street. The family-friendly 3.5 mile bike parade began with a greeting by Mayor Mitchell, who has been a big supporter of biking in New Bedford. The parade was escorted by New Bedford Police to ensure the safety of participants, especially that of our youngest bikers. The paraders looped around the surrounding neighborhoods taking over the streets until they returned to rec center for the bike rodeo that focused on bike safety for kids.
The rodeo, created by Tony Ionno from Parks Recreation and Beaches, and with the help of NBBC volunteers, included several stations that kids had to complete in order to get a bag of bike-related goodies. The stations included a tune-up stop (to ensure that the kids were riding on safe bicycles), a helmet fitting station, a slow race, a zig zag course, and many more. Volunteers at each station would sign off on the “kids rodeo passport” and once all rodeo stations were completed, the child earned a prize that included a t-shirt, bicycle bell, and safety reflectors. In addition to the goodie bags, water bottles, bike lights and bike locks were available at no-cost, provided by the NBBC (made possible through funding through the United Way and Narragansett Bay Wheelman). Mass in Motion was also present giving away additional water bottles, reusable bags and multiple education materials on healthy eating and active living.
The event was enjoyed by all who attended. The enthusiasm for biking and more bike related events in the city was over whelming. Check out the coverage on the event from the Standard Times here. If you missed this wonderful event, please join us in May as we host our second Pedal Party in New Bedford. Stay tuned for more information!
Picture of New Bedford’s bicycle enthusiasts at the event: