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Bike Skills Training Program for Kids at Local Elementary Schools

by Lisa Montanaro of The Bike Campaign

 

Close your eyes and think back: Do you remember the firsttime you rode a bike? Remember how it felt when your feet left the ground,gripped the pedals, and you could feel yourself moving? Exhilarating and empowering! We hope every kid gets to experience that feeling at some early age in their life. But sadly, not all kids do. For kids that don’t have a parent or other family member that knows how to ride a bike, it may not be a skill passed onto them at home. So where does a kid learn how to ride a bike? Enter bike skills training at local schools!   

The Bike Campaign’s Bike Skills Training Program fills a gapfor kids that may not have had the opportunity to ride, don’t own a bike, orneed to improve their skills to feel more confident on two wheels. The Bike Campaign now has bike skills training programs at five elementary schools in Davis and Woodland. The second grade Bike Skills Training Program focuses on teaching every second-grade student how to ride a 2-wheel bicycle using the easy “Balance Bike” method. Bike riding skills focus on proper bike and helmet fitting, maintaining a working bike, and learning the rules of the road and how to ride with a group. The Bike Campaign provides a specially designed fleet of bikes, helmets, and reflective vests.    

Through the Bike Skills Training Program, kids learn how toride a bike in a safe, supportive, and fun environment that improves theirskills with the goal of making them a life-long rider. Kids can then ride to school as a means of transportation, as well as ride for pleasure with friends and family. Once kids learn safe cycling skills, parents feel more comfortable eliminating car trips to schools.    

Riding a bike to school provides kids an opportunity tosocialize with friends and get fresh air and exercise. It also promotesindependence and a way to release some energy out before school even starts. Kids get a chance to be outdoors daily, which is so important considering a large portion of kids’ days are spent inside the classroom or on a computer at home. Also, biking to school is sometimes easier on parents with young children than taking the time to strap all of them into car seats, and waiting in the car line that forms for drop off and pick up at the school’s entranceway. Indeed, bike riding to school helps keep car congestion down in the area surrounding the school on busy mornings and afternoons.    

Bike-savvy parents and grandparents are encouraged toparticipate in the training program. Volunteer training is provided. If you areinterested in getting involved as a volunteer, contact Bike Campaign Director Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net.   

This article was written by Lisa Montanaro, commissioned byThe Bike Campaign. For more information about how to “Bike More. Drive Less.”,contact Maria Contreras Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net or www.TheBikeCampaign.com. 

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