At that age, you need to reach out to and include the parents, because the parents need to hear the message you're teaching too. If it's not reinforced at home, the kids won't retain it or see what you're teaching as valuable.

I've been leading a family friendly cruiser ride for 11 years (since June 2004), I always pull the kids aside and talk bike safety, the parents are right there and they, too, hear the message. I then ask the parents to reinforce it at home when they go on family rides. I know this works because when I'm out with my wife and daughter I hear other riders with kids yelling out the alerts we use during Bike Night. It's gratifying. 

Our "Longmont Bike Night" regularly has up to 200 people on each ride, with the 24 week average coming in at 119 - 120. Of these it's almost all young families with kids between kindergarten and 5th grade. The bulk of the kids are between kinder - 2nd grade. Each ride has atleast 30-40 kids, 8 and younger. We have probably 0 hipsters and even fewer people between 18 & 25. Just sayin' this is NOT a rolling Bike Party or slow roll, rather it's an awesome and innovative blend between a bike party and kidical mass (if it needs a label).

To your question: we include a bike night bike rodeo, we call it Bike Night Kids Night, the kids call the shots on music, route and we meet an hour beforehand and play bike games. I think the most valuable thing you can do is to teach families how to ride together.

We're in the midst of a Safe Routes to School program and it's my first go in a leadership position within the SRTS here. Our outreach strategy is based on Longmont Bike Night's success with family riding. In my outside experience looking in, I think SRTS's major weakness isn't funding or what have you - it's lack of parent outreach.

Parent outreach is the #1 goal of the program. Therefore we're holding our bike rodeos on weekends and evenings in an attempt to get whole families to participate. It's working, too. This strategy works because we meet families on their schedule and don't require dual income families to take time off from work or rearrange their schedules. The family approach works because you get them all on bikes, and parents who don't ride get to see their kids having a lot of fun.

Simple answer is get the parents on board. SRTS will say kids younger than 10 should not ride on the street.

In my experience.

On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 9:17 AM, Jim Sheehan <> wrote:
We have done some presentations and rodeos for 4th graders, but after the news that D.C. schools are teaching bike riding to all 2nd graders, our district is interested in reaching this younger cohort.

While we have had a bit of experience with this age, any lessons learned from working with schools (especially in Phys Ed) would be appreciated.

Jim Sheehan
Director, Ohio City Bicycle Co-op
1840 Columbus Rd
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
216 830 2667


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