An inside look at our middle school bike clubs

We are reaching the end of another successful season of our Safe Routes to School fall bike clubs at Brook Haven Middle School in Sebastopol and at Windsor Middle School!

In Windsor, SRTS instructor Sarah Hadler and middle school teachers Paul Puntous and Beth Dodge meet with an enthusiastic group of 6th-8th graders after school on Thursday afternoons for four weeks. At Brook Haven, Sarah and fellow SRTS instructor David Levinger meet with another lively group of 5th-8th graders after school on Fridays.

On the first club day at each school, the kids’ bikes get tuned up and checked by a local professional mechanic. Thanks to Ben at the The Bike Shop in Windsor and to Kenny of Precision Bicycle Repair in Santa Rosa! After checking to make sure helmets and bikes fit well, we go over the Air-Brakes-Chain Quick Check of our bikes and then do some handling skills drills on the blacktop.

On the second day, we head out on our bikes to have a lesson on navigating an intersection and then we do a short ride to a local park and have a snack. On ensuing afternoons, we go for longer and more challenging rides, always with a fun destination and yummy snacks involved! During the course of the bike club, we also teach the kids how to repair a flat tire, oil the chain, find their bike’s serial number and properly lock their bike.

Many of the kids join the bike club because they want to be able to bike to and from school and around town on their own and their parents are more inclined to let them if they join the bike club and learn how to responsibly ride on the streets!