I will never forget the feeling I had when Santa brought me my first bike. A bright red BMX. My best mate across the road got a yellow one. This day was the beginning of a life long love affair with bike riding for me. We spent Christmas day trying to master the skill that is bike riding. No training wheels in those days, crashing into each other, letter boxes and trees but with persistence we did it! As a kid I spent my spare time racing up and down the foot path on my street and when I was old enough, my bike was my method of getting to school and the shops on weekends. My bike was freedom and I loved it.
As a dad I now get to experience that freedom with my own kids and now that spring has arrived in Melbourne we now spend much more time outdoors riding our bikes.
Scootering (as I call it) is my latest way to enjoy the outdoors with my kids. It’s much easier to fold and pack our scooters in the car when we go away on holidays and we love exploring bike paths, etc on them.
As a PE teacher I have recently become Bike Ed certified and have had the pleasure of teaching a Bike Ed program at my school. I believe that a bike ed program is such an important facet of schooling and physical education. In Australia, you would be hard pressed to find a child that hasn’t participated in a swimming program run by qualified swimming instructors, but how many children participate in a bicycle ed program run by qualified instructors? Not to diminish the importance of swimming capability in this country, but I believe that children should be adequately prepared to get around on wheels safely and competently in our community. As a general rule, bike riding and bike safety is something that is left to parents to pass onto their kids and I’m sure most parents do this very well but what about the ones that don’t? What skills and knowledge are those kids left with? For this reason I feel that a quality bike ed and traffic safety program is essential in schools. On another note I have been amazed at how many children do not know how to ride a bike by the age of 8 or 9. These children have never been provided with the opportunity to learn how to ride which in my mind is sad 😦 The good news is that with persistence, many of these children were able to master the skill of bike riding by the end of our 5 week unit. Individual goal setting became an important part of the unit.
I thought I would share my Bike Ed planner which was a great success and culminated in a community bike ride around our local bike paths. We are lucky at my school to have so many great and safe bike paths so close to our school.
Bike Ed 3 – 4 Here is the unit.
Here is a great video that I showed the students on traffic safety:
After the success of the Bike Ed unit in Year 3/4 I have decided to purchase a set of scooters and teach a Scooter Ed unit next term with my Year 1/2 students as a lead in to bike ed.
Scooter Ed 1 – 2 Here is the unit. Still yet to be implemented but I am very excited about it 🙂
Here is a sample of some of the stuff I will be doing:
Here’s a great little cartoon outlining the importance of wearing a helmet:
I hope you enjoyed my blog and if it can inspire PE techers to get out and teach kids how to get around their community on two wheels then I have achieved my goal 🙂