We are lucky enough to have a class set of bikes, helmets, and high visibility vests available to our school district. If this is not available to you, you may be able to assemble a class set of your own for the day with some planning. If that is not an option, you may be able to incorporate cycling into your class by allowing students to bike a route that others are walking, combine with other classes to create a group large enough to head out for a ride, or simply host a bike safety/rodeo class.
If you are able to get out with your class, here are some things to remember:
- Before the bike ride review the following with your class: how to fit a bike, how to check your bike before a trip, hand signals, gear shifting, road rules, and safety.
- Have an adult at the beginning, middle, and end of your group if possible; and carry a first aid kit.
- Make people and bikes visible – high visibility clothing, reflective gear on your bike, and lights on your bike. If the weather is especially poor, choose a different day.
- Ensure that everyone is wearing a properly fitted helmet, and that nobody is wearing headphones or using a cell phone.
- Use bike lanes when possible. Check your local municipality’s website for designated bike routes/cycling maps.
- Don’t ride on the sidewalk. If there’s no bike lane, keep to the right-hand side of the road as much as it’s safe to do so.
- Make sure to obey all traffic signs and signals and to adhere to the rules of the road.
- Use caution around parked vehicles and watch for opening doors.
- Keep both hands on the handlebars.
- Use hand signals and shoulder check.
- Ride single-file, and bunch up at stops signs and traffic lights.
If you are not confident in your cycling knowledge, reach out to local biking clubs. Someone will be happy to teach you, and possibly even lead or chaperone a cycling trip. For detailed information on cycling, cycling courses, and traffic skills in British Columbia, visit Bike Sense or CIBC Bike Smarts. You can also visit the Bike Rodeo page for ideas on how to teach your class biking knowledge and skills.