Thursday, January 25, 2018

New Bike Playground is Worth a Visit

As soon as I heard about Charlotte's new Bike Playground, I was hooked on the concept. It's both simple and innovative.
Dreamed up by Mecklenburg Public Health and Safety, funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation and brought to fruition in partnership with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, this miniature replica of real city streets offers a truly fun, protected place to ride and learn about bike safety.

We made it a priority to visit the Bike Playground, located at the Arbor Glen Outreach Center in West Charlotte, on ribbon-cutting weekend. And it was a hit.
The kids, who often create sidewalk chalk cities in the driveway, were tickled to be able to cruise around on realistic roads in their own pint-sized town. The legitimate road markings on a closed course are an way excellent to teach children -- and adults! -- about traffic safety. It's also just a really convenient and fun place to ride -- wide-open and unencumbered by vehicular traffic.
The course, which was built on and around basketball courts, sports about 0.25 miles of paved "roads" with virtually all of the street markings you might encounter on a drive through uptown. The space is set back from Clanton Rd., behind the Outreach Center. The surrounding park area includes an impressive playground, a half-dozen basketball courts and restroom facilities.
It's also adjacent to the Irwin Creek Greenway, which is a lovely, protected 2-mile riding, walking or jogging option if you get tired of riding in circles on the Bike Playground.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning to ride a bike, the Bike Playground will serve as a Learn to Ride workshop location. Information on the space will be available through the Arbor Glen Outreach Center and, soon, groups will be able to reserve it for classes and events through Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.

The Bike Playground is free and open to the public from sunrise to sundown everyday. Make a trip to check it out; you'll be glad you did.
How to get there:
The Arbor Glen Outreach Center is located at 1520 Clanton Rd., Charlotte, NC 28208.
Don't forget to pack:
  • Bikes and helmets: Kids and adults will both enjoy the ride.
  • Water and snacks: It's easy to work up a sweat and an appetite on the course.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses: There is no shade on the Bike Playground.

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