Thursday, April 25, 2019

BikeWalkLee: Sharpen your kids’ cycling skills

BikeWalkLee Column
The News-Press, April 25, 2019
by Ken Gooderham

Want to make your kids more cycle savvy? There’s a summer camp just for you.

The Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club is offering “Wheel Lee Fun” this summer, a four-level class for kids ages 5-15, beginning June 10. The week-long classes cover the basics in riding, safety and maintenance, from how to balance on two wheels all the way to bike commuting and touring. Students will be assessed on their current cycling skills and assigned to one of four levels:

  • Learn to Ride – the basics.
  • Beginner – confident cyclists who can ride in their neighborhoods.
  • Intermediate – able to handle longer distances and perform basic maintenance.
  • Advanced – confident in groups or traffic and ready to handle emergency repairs.

Classes, which run from 8:30 a.m. to noon five days, will be taught by experienced cyclists and certified instructors, and will include all four skill levels (except for the first session June 10-14). There will be six sessions in all (at $150 per child), going through the end of July, and all classes will be held behind Fort Myers Cyclery, 1941 Hill Avenue, Fort Myers.

Each participant must bring an appropriately fitted, bike shop-certified working bicycle (FREE certification from participating bike shops listed on the website); a properly fitted helmet; plastic bottle of water; a bottle holder or backpack; a snack and sunblock. Packing a little extra spirit of adventure isn’t a bad idea, either.

You can find out more at the CRBC website ( or via email to (You can also register for sessions at the website, or even donate to help support this worthy effort.)

Showing kids the joys (and responsibilities) of cycling early on is a great way to turn them into skilled and independent cyclists, as well as giving them a lifelong skill that’s both fun and good for them.

What if you’re not a kid anymore, but still want to sharpen your skills on the bike? Well, the CRBC also offers skills classes for adults; check their events calendar for dates. Your local bike shop (you have one, right?) can also be a good source for education, either formal (some offer classes at certain times of the year) or informal (since most mechanics are happy to share some insights to interested customers).

Still time to comment on Sanibel paths

Since February, the City of Sanibel has been working on the update of its Shared Use Path Master Plan, and the period of public input ends on April 30. If you live, work, or play on Sanibel, please take advantage of this opportunity to help update the city’s Shared Use Path Master Plan. Go online to to include your comments.

Public input is important for developing a visionary plan (with a 10- to 20-year horizon) for one of the community’s crown jewels — its shared use path system.  Be sure to check out the Interactive Comment Map online at

SAVE THE DATE: This year’s Ride of Silence, a 7-mile silent ride to honor those killed or injured while cycling on public roadways, will be held on Wednesday, May 15, leaving promptly at 7 p.m. from the Southwest Florida Military Museum, 4820 Leonard Street, Cape Coral. Details at


Ready to ride or run? 

Run? Next Saturday is the Friends of Foster Children Sunshine 5K at the CCPS Admin Center in Naples (, as well as the Head and Neck Cancer 5K Run and 2-Mile Walk at the CenturyLink Sports Complex, Fort Myers ( The following Saturday (May 5) brings the Tropicool 5K in Olde Naples (

Ride? A full slate of Critical Mass rides ahead, with the Cape ride Friday night, the downtown Fort Myers Slow Roll Saturday morning, and the original downtown Fort Myers ride the night of May 3. Lights are required for night rides and helmets are recommended; details at ( For something longer, there’s Sharky’s Ride the Beaches on Sunday, April 28, with 15- 35- and 70-mile rides from Sharky’s on the Pier in Venice. On Sunday, May 5, there’s a ladies-only Tour de Femme Florida, with 18-, 33- and 66-mile rides starting from the State College of Florida-Bradenton (

Both? Upcoming events include:
  • Saturday, May 11: Cape Coral Sprint Tri (
  • Saturday, May 18: Life’s a Beach Tri, Sarasota (
  • Sunday, June 2: 33rd Annual Fitness Challenge Triathlon, Naples (
  • Sunday, June 9: Heartland Sprint and Olympic Tri, Sebring (
  • Sunday, June 23: Sirens Sprint Tri, Sarasota (
  • Registration is open for this year’s Galloway Captiva Tri on Sept. 7-8, which offers a new format this go-round with the sprint race on Saturday morning and the kids’ events Sunday morning. Details at
  • Willing to drive? Check or for tris around the state.


Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

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Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County — streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at 


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