Edmonds Basics of Bicycling program back in elementary schools for second year

A third-grader at Lynnwood Elementary tries out her bike. (Photos by Janice Corbett)

Bicycles are unloaded from the trailer at Lynnwood Elementary.

For the second year, the Edmonds Basics of Bicycling program — sponsored by the Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group and Cascade Bicycle Club –  is visiting area elementary schools.

Bicycles and helmets are brought to each school via trailer for the students to use. Last week, third graders from Carol Strauss’s class at Lynnwood Elementary pedaled new bicycles in the gym. Four of the students had never been on a bicycle prior to this class.

The program seems to be a hit with both the students and the district’s physical education teachers, according to Susan Sellers, who teaches PE at Lynnwood Elementary.

Strauss watched as her third graders nervously stepped up to the bikes and took control. Then she gave the students an assignment to describe their feelings after the class. Among the comments:

“At first, I was nervous, because I’d never been on a bicycle before, my hands on the handlebars felt kind of slippery, I think my hands were wet.  I’m safe because I had a helmet on. Once I got the hang of it, I started to ride it with my feet on the pedals. When I go straight home, I am going to ask Mommy and Daddy to buy me a bike!”

“I was nervous because I haven’t ridden a bike in a long time.  I was wobbly, but my second turn was better. My favorite time was when I almost hit the fake car our PE teacher held up.”

“When I first got on the bike, the handles were so squishy and when I started riding it was feeling funny, but I kept moving and got used to it.  But then I had to TURN!  I was afraid just for a second, but had a relief that I didn’t crash into the wall.  When it was my turn again, I felt comfortable and know I can ride my bike without wobbling a lot.

“In PE class we all got to ride bikes and I was good at it.  I have my own bike at home and I like to do tricks like wheelies.  I hope my biking gets easier and I can learn how to ride better, it is more fun than any other sports.”

“At first I was shaky when we rode bikes in PE today.  After a bit I was riding really good.  Great fun, I hope to remember how to ride safe around cars, because the teacher had a play car and had us stop and look both ways.”

Thank you, Susan Sellers and Carol Strauss. Maybe the children will tell their parents about this Basics of Bicycling program and their parents will take advantage of bicycle safety websites and take their children out on the trails.

For more information, visit the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation.

– Submitted by Janice Corbett

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1 Comment

  1. This is a great program and Edmonds is lucky to have such enthusiast folks to put it on.
    Our own Edmonds Kiwanis Club also hosts a bike helmet program/donations… Now we just gotta get more bike lanes in Edmonds for these future cyclists!

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