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Town gears up for Bike Expo

Event promotes safety for riders of all ages

With increasing awareness about the environmental impact of motor transportation, local commuters of all ages have taken to riding their bikes as a clean, green way of getting around the Town of Bethlehem.

In order to make sure that bike riders are doing so safely, the Town of Bethlehem Department of Parks and Recreation, along with several volunteer groups, will hold the bi-annual Bike Expo at Elm Avenue Park on Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Bike Expo focuses on rider safety, bike maintenance and the many health benefits associated with riding a bicycle. Activities will include skill stations, where bike riders will learn about safe bike operation as well as correct turn signals and traffic safety.

Jason Gallo, assistant administrator at Parks and Recreation, and organizer of the event, said participants should expect all sorts of activities and information. Organizers of the event are enlisting the help of other community groups to educate about bicycle traffic and safety.

They're coming out to share what their organizations do but also to promote safety, Gallo said.

One of the organizations helping with the skill stations will be the Friends of the Rail Trail, a committee of the Mohawk-Hudson Land Conservancy, or FORT, an organization dedicated to supporting the 9-mile Albany rail trail project. FORT volunteers will be there to "spread the word about the Albany County rail trail and encourage people to get involved with FORT," according to Dan Rain, co-chair of FORT. The organization will also volunteer with helmet fittings and the bike rodeo.

Kids will have the opportunity to participate in the bike rodeo, a fun, competitive bicycle course where participants will be scored on the safety of their riding. Through participating in the rodeo, children will be automatically entered in a bike raffle. The raffle is not the only way attendees can go home with a different bike " the Bethlehem Police Department will be offering unclaimed repossessed bikes for sale at reduced prices.

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