Open Streets Corvallis gives you a chance to gain confidence and have fun while family or solo bicycling on Corvallis’ emerging neighborhood bikeways. In anticipation of this year’s event on August 19 between Cloverland Park and Harding Center, we wanted to share a couple of things we do when bicycling around town with our own littles. These are strategies we’ve used to get ourselves safely to a multi-use path, a friend’s house, summer concerts, or Farmers’ Market . . . anywhere, really. Practice getting yourself and your family to Open Streets Corvallis!
Ride to the left of your child. Keep the youngest riders between yourself and the curb and yourself between traffic and your child. It’s okay to take up space while your kids learn to be predictable riders. (Predictability is so important!) Kids of balance bike age generally don’t have the judgement skills to lead the pack or follow behind an adult. (We’ll talk about riding with a sweep in another post.) Stay close, mama and papa bears. You don’t have to ride single file just yet.
Choose low-stress routes, when possible. It will make it easier to keep your child between you and the curb. For example, traveling south on 14th street may take you multiple entry points on campus, but 15th street has less traffic, more stops that slow everyone down, and ends at a crosswalk that leads to campus. Similarly, 29th may have a bike lane, but 27th can get you to many of the same destinations at a calmer entrance with less traffic on your route. Bonus if you can choose routes with fewer parked cars so you can avoid car doors swinging open.
It’s great practice for taking on busier streets later. And you will.
Sometimes you just don’t know how people-powered-friendly our streets can be until you use them re-imagined in a new way. Find out what we mean: portions of the streets between Cloverland Park and Harding Center are open to non-motorized traffic from 12-4pm on event day, August 19 (allowing for local neighbors to get to and from their homes, of course). You know we’re going to say it: come walk, bike, and play with us!