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Bike classes for kids help increase safety, improve health

Bike classes for kids help increase safety, improve health

April 10, 2021 at 11:13 am  BC, News, Politics

Children in grades four and five will have an opportunity to learn how to safely ride bicycles, as these children and their schools will participate in the spring session of the Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program.

The Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program is delivered over two days. Participating schools are on the Lower Mainland, on Vancouver Island and in the southern Interior. The program aims to provide children in grades 4 and 5 with the safety awareness and practical cycling skills to safely ride their bicycles. Two sessions are scheduled for this spring.

“Cycling is a fun and healthy way for children to get to and from school,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “As the weather is warming up and we are encouraging people to get outside more, we are happy to work together with HUB Cycling and the schools to help get elementary school children on the right path toward safe cycling.”

On the first day of the program, the children have a 45- to 60-minute in-class or online introduction to cycling and helmet safety. The second is a 70- to 90-minute practical session, where the children get to practise basic cycling skills, including starting, stopping, turning, using hand signals, recognizing road signs and traffic safety.

Teaching elementary students bicycle skills and safety can help:

  • reach goals related to climate action, active transportation and healthy communities;
  • provide a safer way for students to get daily physical exercise and move within their community during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • raise a generation of sustainable transportation users and safe road users.

“I’m so pleased the Everyone Rides Program continues to grow and gives grades 4 and 5 students throughout B.C. the skills and confidence they need to safely ride their bikes to and from school,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “This program teaches students road safety, promotes physical activity and wellness, and teaches youth to find more eco-friendly ways of transportation as they reduce carbon emissions and help build a more sustainable, lasting British Columbia for future generations to come.”

The next session will be with participating Greater Victoria, Kelowna and Salt Spring Island schools starting April 12, 2021.

About 8,000 students from 80 Greater Victoria, Kelowna, Metro Vancouver and Salt Spring Island schools are expected to participate in the 2021 Everyone Rides program. To ensure all interested children are able participate, bikes and helmets are provided, including adaptive bikes for children with disabilities.

“Helping children learn to travel by bike at a young age can create lasting impacts in the transportation choices they make as adults,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of State for Infrastructure and MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “As our government seeks to enable more socially and environmentally responsible modes of travel for people throughout our communities, programs like this help to encourage a generational embrace of active transportation for a more sustainable future. Thank you to HUB cycling and all participating parents and schools for supporting this important initiative.”

Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 is a program developed and delivered by HUB Cycling, a not-for-profit organization with over 20 years of experience helping remove barriers to cycling through education and training.

“Universal cycling education in schools is an effective way to raise a generation of sustainable transportation users and safe road users,” said Rose Gardner, director of bike education, HUB Cycling. “This creates a systemic culture of cycling that permeates student, parent and teacher lifestyles, and transportation choices.”

Quick Facts:

  • HUB Cycling launched the Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 pilot program in 2020, which reached over 1,800 students through a combination of online, in-class and on-bike learning.
  • The ministry has invested $600,000 in the Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program.
  • As part of the Active Transportation Strategy, Move. Commute. Connect., cycling education is an example of government working within communities to expand active transportation networks and create more options for walking and cycling.
  • The Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program contributes to the CleanBC goal of doubling trips taken by walking, cycling and other kinds of active networks by the year 2030.

Learn More:

HUB Cycling: https://bikehub.ca/everyone-rides-grade-4-5  

Move. Commute. Connect.: www.gov.bc.ca/active-transportation

CleanBC: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/

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