Bike to Bust Childhood Bullying Jodi Bellefeuille October 29, 2014 2011 Grab your bike and take a ride for the kids against bullying! An inaugural 40-mile community cycling event, Bicycle Bully Buster, is taking aim at childhood bullying by rallying state legislators and novice to advanced riders on Saturday November 15. The organizers chose cycling as the way to raise awareness about the issue of childhood bullying because it enhances exactly what bullies wish to attack – self esteem. “Physical exercise is one key component to developing discipline and overall health, “ the release stated. “It also contributes to a strong sense of self-esteem, making it a perfect activity for taking a stand against bullying, since bullies thrive by taking that away.” Organizers also stated the best way to make a point heard is when there’s a lot of voices behind it. “A group ride is a natural fit for the issue, as well, in that the more people who speak out against bullying, the less mainstream it is allowed to be,” the release stated. That’s exactly why Southwest Florida cycling advocate, Dan Moser will be peddling for this cause with the support of the local cycling community.. “Since I work in injury prevention, I know that sometimes bullying can escalate into suicidal tendencies, intentional injuries or injuries to oneself,” he said. “So of course it’s important to me [to ride].” The event is open to anyone above the age of 16, and is $25. It kicks off at 7 a.m. from the Trek Bicycle store at Coconut Point Mall for advanced riders ready to tackle 40 miles; 7:30 a.m. for intermediate riders ready for 25 miles, and 10-mile fun run gets going at 8 a.m. Registration includes, a pre-ride carb-loading breakfast, ride support, post-ride lunch, event technical shirt, an event village featuring informational bullying resources. Florida State Representative, Heather Fitzenhagen will also be attending the event with her family and her bike. “As a mother, the thought of a child being bullied to the point of taking his or her own life, is unimaginably heartbreaking” Fitzenhagen said in a statement released in January. For the last year Fitzenhagen has been advocating for the victims and working aggressively to pass laws against the ridiculing childhood behavior. In January she launched a website called PassRebeccasLaw.com to gain signatures for a groundbreaking anti-bullying bill. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass but Fitzenhagen isn’t letting that stop her efforts. She will peddle on at this event. Participants and their families can also enjoy clinics, which will be held throughout the morning. Some of the hot cycling topics include road safety, bike maintenance and helmet fitting. All levels of riders will have the opportunity to test their skills on an agility course as well. It’s a tough time in Southwest Florida not only because of the advent of bullying, but bike and road safety is becoming a better recognized issue for motorists and cyclists alike. Recently, a local photographer Erik Kellar was hit and injured by a vehicle while cycling. So, put up your kickstand and make a stand that matters for the community. Register today at http://www.active.com/estero-fl/cycling/races/bicycle-bully-busters-2014 Major sponsors include Morgan & Morgan, Trek Bicycle Stores and Geared Up Multisport.