With spring here, Lyndon students encouraged to ride their bicycles

Heartland BMX at LEMS

Breann Sullivan, track operator at Heartland BMX, Topeka, standing left in pink shirt, introduces local BMX racers Bridget Walter, Devin Walter and Caden Sullivan, who gave a presentation on their sport and bicycle safety Friday at Lyndon Elementary Middle School.

Lyndon elementary students were treated to a break in usual lessons Friday, and instead learned about the challenging sport of bicycle moto-cross and also bicycle safety. The program was part of the city of Lyndon’s ongoing planning to seek funding to develop safe routes to school.

Lyndon Tiger on new bikeLyndon was one of six Kansas cities to receive $15,000 in Safe Routes to Schools Phase 1 funding. The funds provide for planning and engineering of safe school routes and public awareness projects that will make walking and bicycling to school safe, enjoyable, and routine. Successful applicants for the second phase of SRTS are eligible for up to $250,000 for projects such as sidewalk improvement or construction, pavement markings and signage.

Heartland BMX has a track in Crestview Park, Topeka, where kids of all ages can race or practice. During Friday’s program, racers Caden Sullivan, Devin Walter and Bridget Walter told the students the importance of using safety gear while riding bicycles, showing examples of the specialty gear they use for racing. Regardless of riding styles, the most important and necessary gear is a helmet, they said.

Heartland has weekly races on Saturday; opening day of the track’s season was April 6. Track operator Breann Sullivan said BMX is a family sport, with no age limits. Bike riders who want to try a race for the first time can do so without buying a membership, and the track is open to the public when races are not being held.

Lyndon students are eligible to win a new bike in an essay contest as part of the SRTS campaign.

Lyndon’s SRTS planning phase has included consulting with citizens to determine sidewalk and safety needs, according to Bruce Boettcher, of BG Consultants, the engineering firm working with Lyndon on SRTS.

Boettcher reported to the Osage County Commission April 1 that plans have been developed for improvements along U.S. 75, improved sidewalk routes throughout town, and improved and safer crosswalks near Lyndon’s schools on Sixth Street. Boettcher asked the commission to sign a resolution of support for the project, in anticipation of applying for the SRTS Phase 2 funding. Application is due June 7, he said.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is administering the SFTS program with funding from the Federal Highway Administration.

Heartland BM X is located at 4801 Southwest Shunga Drive, Topeka. Breann Sullivan can be reached at 785-271-1269 or see http://www.heartlandbmx.org/.

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BMX racer Bridget Walter explains the features of her specialty racing bike to Lyndon Elementary School students.



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