Updated: Nov 6
The Bike Campaign (TBC) has been busy this fall with their Bike Skills Training Program (BSTP). Elementary school students in Davis and Woodland have been learning new skills and honing others that will help them become strong cyclists.
Second and fifth graders at Marguerite Montgomery, Cesar Chavez, and North Davis elementaries in Davis, and Dingle Elementary in Woodland have been participating in the BSTP. TBC’s experienced volunteer instructors have worked with students who already ride, and with students who have had little to no experience also.
TBC brings a fleet of bicycles, high visibility vests and helmets for students to use during training sessions. Sessions start with the ABCs — air, brakes, and chain. Students are shown where to look on the tires for the proper level of inflation and shown the proper way to use hand brakes on a bicycle. They are also taught about why it’s important to keep the bike’s chain lubricated.
Students are also shown how to adjust their bicycle helmet so it fits correctly, and taught about wearing clothing — like safety vests with reflective striping and brightly colored clothing — to increase their visibility while on the road.
Experienced students worked in a group with ride guides, learning to ride slowly, control their bike, use hand signals, and practice shoulder checking. They also learned to keep proper distance between themselves and other cyclists and common road signs.
Students who had never ridden a bike before or who didn’t have a lot of experience worked one-on-one with instructors learning how to balance, coast, and then pedal. TBC has special bikes with folding pedals that can be used as balance bikes, and when the student feels comfortable the pedals can be flipped down to the normal pedal position for pedaling.
At Birch Lane Elementary, fourth, fifth and sixth graders went on a Ride of Passage, which consisted of ride guides taking groups of students cycling in the neighborhood around the school. Students learned how to ride in pairs, keep proper spacing, watch for cars, and proper stopping.
More schools in Davis and Woodland are scheduled for Spring 2024. One of TBC’s long-term goals is to provide the BSTP to all second and fifth graders in Davis and Woodland and eventually expanding the program to other towns in the county.
Although the BSTP is run by volunteers, TBC spends about $175 per session to conduct the classes. That cost includes all the bicycles and equipment as well as the truck rental to transport the bikes to the school, the cost of storing the bikes, vests, helmets, and bicycle repairs and maintenance.
Another part of TBC’s outreach has been encouraging families to bike together on the Foxy’s Fall Ride and The Zombie Bike Parade in October. Both of these events were family friendly and got cyclists out and about to enjoy the fall weather and get familiar with the cycling opportunities in our city and county.
Generous donors make it possible for TBC to continue its mission of getting more kids on bikes and giving them the skills to enjoy cycling for a lifetime. As a 501.c.3 organization, donating to TBC is a great way to help improve the local environment. By getting more kids and adults on bikes we can improve our air quality, reduce traffic, and get people more fit.
If you’re looking for a way to show your support for a better environment, consider donating to The Bike Campaign. $20 helps pay for our signage and materials, $100 will fix 10 flat tires, and $200 pays for a month of storage for one of our fleets of bicycles. With your support we can all ride farther, educate more, and make our county even more bicycle friendly.