A fantastic finish to Bike Education lessons

Rick Eikelboom
John Calvin School - Albany

After several years of using the 'Let's Ride' program, and with many resources built up, it was decided to run the program this year independent of that great program. We still used a qualified teacher with cycle coaching accreditation, and ran the course for 6 weeks this term. The class was a year 6 class with 16 students, who had different degrees of experience and confidence in bike riding.

Several students already regularly rode to school with their parents or siblings and displayed great confidence and knowledge of road awareness. Others however were very tentative and the challenge lay ahead.

The lessons followed the same development plan of the previous program and for some students balance was the biggest challenge. However the challenges were overcome and so the time came to practice these skills on the quiet roads around the school. Three parents were willing to help and so groups of 4 students with a teacher and helper ventured out on the roads to show what they had learnt. The whole class passed the test with flying colours, and just in time for our 'Bike Ed Excursion.'

This is an event we have every year at the completion of the unit of study, where we take a whole day and cycle the quiet streets and paths around our beautiful city of Albany. The city of Albany promotes and supports cyclists around the city and so we had a great day, with a BBQ lunch at a park near the beach.

Due to the sometimes fickle weather in Albany, the day needed to be posponed, however the alternative day was just perfect. Clear sunny skies, no wind and we set off in our separate groups. During the day the groups travelled different routes, and although there was one mechanical incident, where a bike rear derailer broke when a stick got caught in it, it was just the best day. each group cycled around 33km on quiet roads, shared bike paths, up mountains, up and down steep hills. An icecream finished off the day and we all had a great day out. All the students displayed good skills and are more confident to cycle independently.

A quick survey of the class and an extra 3 students now cycle to school with confidence. The support from the school and parents is always good and we hope to keep promoting cycling as a good alternative is getting to school.

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James (Your Move)

Great story Rick! And what a wonderful way to finish of your Bike Ed season. I love Albany and can just imagine what a lovely ride everyone had. I've given you 15 points for doing the street ride in addition to the standard Bike Ed program. You also got a bonus 10 points for not skimping on any details. I also manually inserted your photos directly into the story and gave you the 12 points you'd normally automatically get for inserting 4 photos into a story.

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