We piloted our first Cycle Smart cycling education program in three local schools in spring 2019. Our program is based on a highly successful program developed by New Hope Community Bikes in Hamilton where it has been running for several years. The program is designed to develop practical life-long skills through safe cycling.
This is an engaging, hands-on program that equips students with a series of progressively challenging cycling skills while meeting the Ontario physical health and education curriculum guidelines.
The skills students learn through the Cycle Smart program makes them safer riders and safer future drivers. The program is based on two reputable sources: CAN-Bike, the national standard for safe cycling programs, and the Guide to Ride curriculum created by Physical and Health Education Canada. CAN-Bike 4 certified, experienced instructors are present at all Ride Smart events.
We do not have children bring their own bikes to the program. We’ve been surprised by how many children in our community do not have access to a safe working bicycle while others are unable to bring their bicycle to school due to transportation issues. Our goal is to ensure access for every child and so every student participating in our program is provided with a helmet and a safe working bicycle that is maintained by our staff.
Our program, then, is completely self contained: we provide the bikes, helmets, instructors, resource materials and the obstacles needed to set up different scenarios. By providing every class with a full set of new bikes and all the equipment, every student can be included. We also provide a helmet and bicycle for the teacher should they want to participate.
WHAT AGES ARE WE TARGETING?
The Cycle Smart program is designed for Grade 4 through 6 students. Pilot programs have shown that this age group engages well with the material and excels at learning new cycling skills. For smaller schools, we can include grade 3 or 7 to fill the day. Curriculum resources to support the cycling program from Physical Health and Education Canada are available for Grades 4-6 HERE.
Schools that want the Cycle Smart Program requires a week-long (4-5 day) commitment. Our instructors will visit the school a week or two prior to training week to provide a bike safety presentation and to get the children excited about the program.
To build the required skills both inside and outside the classroom, the program requires a minimum of 5 daily class periods over the course of a week. This ensures that students learn the concepts and develop their skills to a high level of competency. Up to six classes per school can participate over the one week time period.
The cost per student is $15.00 for the week long program. This can include an after school basic tune-up and repair on their own bikes should the school be interested. The participation fee goes towards covering staffing and transportation costs as all of the equipment has been supported through grant funding. Please contact us if the cost to participate is a barrier.
Cycle Smart encourages students to develop a decision making framework that will keep them safe as they ride. Based on the core teaching of CAN-Bike, students will learn how to make themselves: manoeuvrable, visible, predictable and able to communicate while they ride.
Our Cycle Smart education program supports the following curriculum outcomes:
Health and Safety, Injury Prevention