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There’s nothing like that first bike.

One day, you are a little person with the world restricted to how far your two legs can take you.

Then, magically, you master a two-wheeler and greater distances – and speed – become new, exciting elements in your life.

There is, of course, a catch. You have to be careful.

Tuesday’s Bike Into Summer gives youngsters a chance for the best of both worlds – to get the most out of their beloved wheels while following simple rules that make bike riding a safe experience.

The free event, designed for children between 5 and 12, is co-sponsored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District in cooperation with the Homewood and Flossmoor police departments. It takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Parker Junior High School, 2810 School St. in Flossmoor.

It’s the fifth year for the event, formerly known as the Bike Rodeo. It was started as a community event between the park district and H-F police departments. This year, organizers wanted to hold the event before school lets out for the summer.

Park District Recreation Supervisor Mary Kawalek called Bike Into Summer an open house-type event where kids get their bicycles tuned up and checked. They then go through a skill course where their riding skills are graded by local law enforcement professionals.

“The focus is on fun and getting kids ready for the summer and to safely ride their bikes,” she said

A number of fun activities are also on tap. There will be a Moon Bounce, treats from Dairy Queen, up-close fire trucks and raffles for a pair of bikes from Good Speed Cycles and pizza gift certificates from Aurelio’s.

Good Speed will also be in charge of tuning up and checking bikes, Kawalek said.

Drew Mormann, a State Farm agent in Flossmoor, is a sponsor of the event. Thanks to his sponsorship, the park district was able to purchase reflectors that children will receive when they come to the event, Kawalek said.

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