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Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.

Brookfield plants flag as bike-friendly community

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Hundreds of people enjoyed the spring weather over the weekend for the Village of Brookfield’s inaugural Bike Brookfield event.  

The event — which included a kids ride, a 5K/10K community ride and an after party with live music and raffle prizes from area businesses — drew people from all parts of the community and all ages, along with visitors from nearby suburbs and Chicago. 

At the bike rodeo, children learned basic bike skills by participating in an obstacle course. Young riders were given helmets and received bike inspections. 

The fun community event showcased Brookfield’s bike-friendly neighborhoods, downtown and 8 Corners shopping districts. It also served as a reminder that Brookfield is a connection point for bicycling, since Brookfield visitors and residents can connect — by bike — to the Salt Creek Trail and other recreational amenities. 

“The sheer number of participants shows how enthusiastic people are about riding bikes in Brookfield,” Village President Kit Ketchmark commented in a news release following the event. 

Village officials said they’re hoping this event will help people understand that the village is committed to bicycling not only for recreation but also as a way to commute and get around town. In the next few years, the village will pursue plans to make Brookfield even more bike-friendly by adding bike racks, seeking grant funding for bike routes and enhancing safety for cyclists. 

“Making it safer and easier for residents to ride bikes around town helps make our community healthier and more environmentally friendly, and studies show that it can contribute to local economic success,” Village Manager Keith Sbiral said.

Check out some great photos of the event. 

Photo courtesy of Lena Pettus of Lena Maria Photography in Brookfield.