Louisville Schools Get ‘Bike Sense’

Have you heard about Louisville’s school youth bike program called Bike Sense? JCPS is joining forces with Bicycling for Louisville, Red Zone Cycling Club, and the Louisville Bicycle Club to bring Bike Sense to two more schools – Rangeland and Wellington Elementary Schools – this spring!

Here’s the whole Bike Safety Program success story, from John “Rolf” Eisinger, Louisville Metro:

A student from Indian Trail Elementary was new to the Youth Cycling Safety program and bicycling. Shelby – the 5th grade student who is in charge of this program – removed the pedals from the bike and had the new student work on balance while scooting down the sidewalk on the bike. Toward the end of the 30-minute class Shelby put the pedals back on the bike and she was suddenly flying down the sidewalk on the bike! Shelby was able to teach a fellow classmate how to ride a bicycle in less than 30 minutes! The other students are learning about traffic signals and how to ride through intersections. We are three weeks into the six-week program.

More on the Indian Trail Program

Indian Trail Elementary is a MicroSociety Magnet Program. In the MicroSociety Program, students create a microcosm – a little world – inside the school. Each student has an important role in running that world. Mastery of basic skills becomes necessary for students to excel as a business owner, banker, lawyer, legislator, or manager.

Social and financial rewards transform students from passive learners to active participants in their own development. Self‐esteem improves with a new sense of accomplishment from a job well done. The end result is the development of responsible, caring, and productive citizens who are eager and ready to change the world for the better.

One of the fifth grade students, Shelby Ford, had the foresight to create a venture that is a natural extension of his love for bicycling. He already has a group of friends who work together after school repairing bicycles at his house. He has taken that interest and further developed it into his MicroSociety venture.

Shelby is the entrepreneur of Li’l Duggy’s Bike Shop. His vision involved offering students an opportunity to learn how to make minor repairs to their bikes, teaching them about bike safety, and providing bicycles to ride for fitness during Micro time.

Shelby began receiving donated bicycles that had been abandoned, which he would repair and teach his fellow classmates how to repair. Once the bicycle was in working condition he would teach them how to ride safely, but first he had to find some bicycle helmets. He contacted Louisville Metro’s Bicycle Program, Bike Louisville, knowing they had a bicycle helmet giveaway program.

This was timely because Bike Louisville was looking for a school to implement their first Youth Cycling Safety Program (YCSP). The YCSP uses a combination of BikeSmart‐On‐Bike curriculum hosted by Vermont’s Safe Routes to School and Center for Health & Learning, as well as League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycling Skills 123 curriculum.

Shelby has become a partner with Bike Louisville’s American Bicyclist Certified League Cycling Instructor program and Louisville’s youth cycling club, Red Zone, to teach the program that started Oct. 18, 2010. The YCSP is designed to provide a six week program with bicycles, helmets and other educational props. During the program Shelby will receive special bicycle safety training so he can continue to teach other classmates safe bicycling throughout the school year. Other students will be able to earn certificates stating they passed the YCSP.

By offering the bicycle safety course to students, we can encourage them to begin riding their bicycles to school. We anticipate that many of our car riders will become bike riders through the implementation of this venture. Students will also have the opportunity to bring their bicycles to school for repairs. Through this venture, students will teach other students how to perform simple repairs: flat tires, using a bike pump and being able to fix a dropped chain.

Program focus on safety

The Youth Cycling Safety Program is a program open to all elementary and middle school‐aged students, boys and girls, of all riding levels who want to ride a bike with friends in a fun and supportive setting.

The Safety Program promotes cycling safety and cycling activities to youth though bike club rides, ride clinics and bike fest events. The Youth Cycling Safety Program works with Bicycling for Louisville and the Red Zone youth cycling safety program to provide summer cycling safety lessons. Summer cycling safety lessons are scheduled to teach bike handling skills and train with experienced coaches.

The Summer Youth Cycling Safety Program season typically runs from June to August and includes practice events, rides and a final Bike Fest with all schools participating together. The Youth Cycling Safety Program is open to all students, encouraging youth of all cycling levels and abilities to…

  1. Ride bikes for transportation, especially to and from school
  2. Learn safe riding skills and use proper equipment
  3. Ride for fitness and experience new cycling skills, including racing
  4. Learn to maintain their bike and make minor repairs
  5. Ride for fun with friends and family
  6. Learn basic safety and first aid techniques

To find out more, leave me a comment and I’ll pass it along!

Grace. Peace. Bicycle Grease.

PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane.
Share the road.

………( )/ ( )
Enjoy the ride home.
© Copyright, Kirk M. Kandle, MMXI
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1 Comment on "Louisville Schools Get ‘Bike Sense’"

  1. Do they still offer these and if so where?

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