For the 2nd year in a row, our Safe Routes to School program coordinated after-school bike clubs with middle school students at four schools, providing interested pre-teens and teens with more in-depth understanding and practice of both riding skills and basic mechanics. At Windsor Middle School, Brookhaven School, Sebastopol Independent Charter, and Wright Charter, young bike-enthusiasts met for four or five consecutive weeks and learned how to fix a flat tire, oil a chain, handle their bikes, and safely ride in traffic. At three of the four sites, students and instructors spent the last day on a 4-5 mile ride.
At Brookhaven, nine energetic 5th and 6th graders rode through the streets of Sebastopol, on the Joe Rodota and West County trails, finishing up at Mombo’s Pizza where owner Fred Poulos generously donated slices of pizza for the hungry riders.
At Windsor Middle School, eight enthusiastic students traveled all over the east side of Windsor, on streets and on the multi-use path, ending with a Mary’s Pizza feast. One of the Windsor Middle School students, 7th grader Bradley, said it was the first time he had ever ridden on the road while 7th grader, Donovan, claimed, “That was the best bike ride of my life!”
Wright Charter students, who, for logistical reasons, could not participate in a road ride, got to celebrate their achievements by making bike-blended fruit smoothies.
Sebastopol Independent Charter students will have their ride on Thursday, March 30th.
A major goal of holding these bike clubs at middle schools is to give these older and increasingly independent students more hands-on (and feet-on) instruction so that they can confidently use their bikes for transportation, both to and from school, and around their town – and to have fun while doing it!