One of the first tastes of true freedom a child gets is when they can ride a bicycle by themselves. A skill once learnt, with them for life.
Sadly, whilst many adults remember walking or riding to school on a daily basis, these same parents are actively discouraging their own kids from such basic exercise and independence due to usually unfounded fears of traffic and the unknown. Ironically this traffic is predominantly made up of those same parents driving their children to school! And all this in a time when there is an 'epidemic' of obesity. Not just in adults, but in kids too!
Did you know?
- 25% of all peak hour traffic is due to parents ferrying children to school. "On the way to work" you may suggest, but studies show that of these 25%, a staggering 80% (ie 20% of all peakhour traffic) will simply turn around and go straight back home. So perhaps next time you're sitting frustrated in peak hour traffic, just think that you could eliminate 1 out of every 5 cars on the road by getting your kids to walk or ride to school! Your stress levels would go down and their fitness would go up!
- Did you also know that many schools in Boroondara actively ban kids from riding to school? If your school is guilty of this, let us know.
How do I teach a child to ride?
- Two links for good reading on how to start your young one/s riding independently!
- BV's page about riding to school read on
- Travel Smart - a fabulous resource for Schools, community, workplaces and homes on how to travel 'smarter'. Not just cycling but information on better ways to get around.
- If you are considering how your child could ride to school, don't make the common mistake of following the same planned route you do when you drive there! That is often the biggest detraction many parents have against riding to school. Choose a route that is bike-friendly. Quiet streets, safe crossings, off road paths and avoiding hills (not always possible in Boroondara, unfortunately) are all considerations. Refer to our Boroondara Bike Map. You may be surprised by what you discover in your own patch of Boroondara.
- Why not ride with your child to school? Who knows, you might even find it helps to break that age-old stonewall around "So. what did you do at school today?"
- Pedal Magic - balance exercises that should get most people riding in around 10 minutes (your experiences may vary)
Warning to all parents: Your patience will be rewarded with years of fun for your kids and that first moment when you witness your child take their first unassisted pedal strokes is one you (and they) will never forget!
Is your school involved in the Ride2School program?
Bicycle Victoria's Ride2School program is working with hundreds of schools across our state, going through every aspect you can imagine about getting kids active on their way to and from school.
Bike Ed Developing students’ cycling skills
Bike Ed is a national bicycle education program provided for students aged 9- 13 years. As part of a health promoting or physical activity school strategy, Bike Ed can be a tool for achieving curriculum outcomes, building school community links, developing and embracing school ethos from health, environmental, personal and group safety perspectives.
The Bike Ed program offers 10 hours tuition over a school term and encourages:
- students’ personal safety
- development of cognitive and physical skills required for cycling
- development of responsible attitudes and behaviours
- participation in physical activity through cycling.
A teaching resource kit, parent/carer information, equipment and a 20 hour training course for teachers, parents and the community. Participating in this training can enhance the sustainability of the student Bike Ed program. Bike Ed also supports other school and community programs such as Safe Routes to School, TravelSmart Schools Program, Smogbuster Day and Ride to Win.
Bicycle education providers - For children & adults
Traffic schools - Info sheet
VicRoads provides traffic safety education programs and programs relating to bicycle education in schools.
Primary School Traffic Safety Resources
The VicRoads Bike Ed kit consists of:
- a two-part instructors' manual
- outdoor activity checklists
- supplementary activity cards
- vehicle cards
- three levels of certificates
- four parent and care-giver information sheets
- 'Here's your bike, Ed!' video
Secondary School Traffic Safety Resources
Cycle On is a resource for teachers planning and running safe cycling programs for Years 7 to 12 students. Each kit includes 30 copies of the student resource book and seven teacher manuals.
The Smogbusters Way To School is designed to encourage students, parents, and the broader school community to consider the implications of motor vehicle travel, particularly to and from school.
Two schools in Boroondara have been involved are Greythorn and Hawthorn West Primary. This initiative for 2004/2005 it was funded by the Australian Greenhouse Office. If you would like to see more of these projects continued, write to council and tell them how important it is!
- Education and Community Programs
- Tel: 9854 2707
- Tel: 9854 2049/2782
- Video Library
- Tel: 9854 2861
- Regional Road Safety Coordinators:
- Tel: 1300 300 745
- Police Schools Involvement Program
- Tel: 9247 5306
- Road Safety Awareness Unit
- Tel: 9247 5779
- Victoria Police - virtual bike