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Kat Volzer, bike and pedestrian coordinator for the Collegedale Police Department, stands outside a trailer filled with bikes that the city of Collegedale is using for free rentals, lessons, and providing kids with recreation during the summer. / Staff photo by Tierra Hayes

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Collegedale bike rentals, lessons

Pro Tip

Volzer’s main advice has to do with picking out the correct bike: one that your child will be comfortable with and that he or she likes.

The city of Collegedale is offering free bike rentals and lessons at Imagination Station as part of the city's Bikes on the Greenway program, open to residents from the surrounding area as well.

Every Thursday from 9-11 a.m., Kat Volzer, bike and pedestrian coordinator for the Collegedale Police Department, is available to help kids find their balance and learn to ride.

The program will run until the end of July.

Collegedale resident Gabriela Dugan and her 4-year-old daughter Elena have attended one of the classes so far, and Dugan said she is already seeing progress.

"To see how my little one was trying, and even when she was able to balance just for a couple seconds it was a rewarding experience, like remembering the day she had her first steps," said Dugan. "I thought it was pretty awesome the program is available because I didn't really have any idea on how to start teaching her the proper manner to balance."

In coordination with the Collegedale Department of Parks and Recreation, Volzer works to provide bike education and programming to the Greater Hamilton County area. She spends her week riding with homeless people and taking bikes to recreation centers across the county and surrounding areas for kids to ride.

In addition to promoting a healthy lifestyle, Volzer finds that one of the most important aspects of learning to ride a bike at a young age is the independence it brings.

"When they realize that a bicycle can be used for transportation, I think that changes their entire perspective on life because they don't have to wait on their mom and dad to go anywhere," Volzer said. "They can ride their bikes to school; they don't have to wait on the school bus."

More information about these programs can be found on the Collegedale Parks and Recreation Facebook page or by calling 468-1971.

Email Tierra Hayes at tierrahayes@southern.edu.

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