SITKA - The Tlingít & Friends Bike Club will host a special event at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Baranof Elementary School covered playground shelter.
All community members are invited to bring their bikes and join the fun, which will include door prizes, a bike maintenance station, safety tips for the kids and a short group ride.
"It's been an incredible year," said David Kanosh, one of the club's coordinators. "We've been able to help with education for young bicyclists by demonstrating how to be a safe cyclist by being predictable, following the rules of the road, and wearing a helmet and reflectives. I've seen more kids and adults wearing things for their safety this past year than I ever have in times past, including yours truly."
The Tlingít & Friends Bike Club was created last fall as part of a partnership between the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program, Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop and the SEARHC Diabetes program. The club is open to all Sitka residents, including non-tribal members, and is geared toward cyclists of all ages and abilities, including beginners, elders and families. One of the club's main objectives is to promote healthy physical activity and bike safety among Alaska Natives. The club also has an ambassador program for cyclists willing to serve as safety role models and to help mentor less-experienced riders.
"We want to promote healthy family activities," said Paulette Moreno, Family Wellness Coordinator for Sitka Tribe of Alaska and another of the coordinators. "We host bike classes and family rides, and we emphasize safety - wearing helmets and obeying the rules of the road. There are a lot of bikes at home that aren't running because they need a new chain or tire, and we want to help get those bikes back on the road. We want to encourage tribal members in more family wellness activities."
For more information about the Tlingít & Friends Bike Club, contact club coordinators David Kanosh at 907-738-0360 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paulette Moreno of Sitka Tribe of Alaska by phone at 907-747-3207 or e-mail at email@example.com, or SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne at 907-966-8734 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.