As more young people hop on their bikes to enjoy the springtime weather, an Anne Arundel County group is offering free lessons on how to do so safely.

Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, or Bike AAA, is launching a free Bike Safety Basics for Kids program.

The program, instructed by PedalPower Kids, will teach children the basics. Kids will learn how to start and stop, control speed and scan for traffic hazards, along with the importance of always keeping your eyes up, said Rachel Varn, founder of the organization. The program will include a bike safety check, helmet fitting and on-bike skills instruction on a protected safety course.

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“We try to encourage young kids from the start to learn how to bike, how to love biking, to use biking not just for recreation but also as a means to get around. And we want to make sure they do all of that safely,” Bike AAA President Jon Korin said.

The safety training is for children ages 5 to 12. It is a great opportunity for families with riders who want more independence, Varn said, and it’s a chance for families to get a report card of their children’s safety skills and awareness.

The program will be held at Lindale Middle School’s Kids Bike Safety Park in Linthicum Heights. The park has miniature roadways, intersections, turn lanes and crosswalks to mimic things children encounter when they’re riding. Korin said it’s important they utilize safe practices so they apply the rules of the road.

More than 2.2 million children ages 5 to 17 were treated in hospital emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries from 2006 to 2015.

The first safety sessions will be held at 1 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 14.

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The Bike Safety for Kids Program is being offered monthly, typically on the second Saturday of the month, starting June 8, according to the group’s website. It is free to the public and starts at 10 a.m. Registration is required.

Children have to provide their own bike in good working order and a helmet. Two-wheelers, balance bikes and training wheel bikes are welcome, according to a news release.

Youth organizations can apply to reserve a session for their groups. Priority will be given to groups working with underserved children. Reserved group sessions begin at 9 a.m. and can accommodate up to 30 children. Contact to apply for the program.

Royale Bonds attended Southern Illinois University. Go Salukis! She previously worked as an affordable housing reporter in Greenville, South Carolina. Royale enjoys long naps, snacking and endless scrolling on social media. She looks forward to reporting on Anne Arundel County and covering the stories that matter.

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