On this bright October morning, an eager group of Grade 6/7 students from Yennadon Elementary is preparing for a neighbourhood bike ride.
It marks the culmination of a five-session Bike to School program taught by certified HUB Cycling instructors.
The program sessions included learning about bicycles and how to properly maintain them; proper helmet use; in-class instruction to teach key traffic laws and how to stay safe on a bike; skills training on school grounds; and, finally, the neighbourhood ride.
“We’re trying to promote walking and cycling to school,” explained Yennadon principal Lisa Lawrance. “Students are learning important bike safety skills, like doing proper turns. The benefit is having them improve their skills and then feel more confident to cycle on the road, to and from school during the school year, but also in the summertime.”
Lawrance said her school started to ramp-up cycling awareness last May during Bike to School Week when they had an RCMP liaison officer teach primary students about cycle safety.
Next, the school applied for a grant to have HUB Cycling instructors teach the Grade 6 and 7 students about safe cycling.
“Since we’ve started promoting the cycling, we’ve increased the number of bicyclists riding to and from school,” said Lawrance.