THUNDER BAY – Safe Cycling Thunder Bay has launched a new cycling education model that lays the foundation for youth cycling training in Canada. This spring Safe Cycling Thunder Bay developed a new instructor certification program, endorsed by Cycling Canada, that trains instructors to deliver Bike Rodeos, which are cycling safety festivals held for elementary school classes. The goal of the new program is to dramatically increase the number of elementary students participating in cycling safety courses in Canada. The program was created and piloted in Thunder Bay. Fourteen new instructors were certified, including school police officers at Thunder Bay Police Services, school nurses at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, teachers from Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, and members of the public.
With the help of new Bike Rodeo Instructors, elementary students in16 classes learned how to test the safety of their helmets and bicycles, developed bike handling skills, and had a supervised opportunity to put their skills into practice on the road. A total of 381 children participated in Bike Rodeos in spring 2016, doubling the number of children who were trained the previous year.
The Healthy Kids Community Challenge subsidized ten Bike Rodeos for schools. Safe Cycling Thunder Bay is funded by the City of Thunder Bay and delivered by EcoSuperior Environmental Programs. This project was made possible in part with funding provided by the Government of Ontario.
“We’re very excited about the number of children we’ve trained this year—it’s a huge accomplishment,” said Caroline Cox, Program Coordinator at EcoSuperior Environmental Programs. “We look forward to continuing to train Bike Rodeo Instructors and sharing the new Bike Rodeo Instructor curriculum nationally so that all Canadian communities can benefit.”
“Cycling is good for the environment, good for your health, and it’s fun!” said Adam Krupper, Mobility Coordinator at the City of Thunder Bay. “We wanted more children to participate in Bike Rodeos in Thunder Bay and we wanted to create a great program that could be run in cities throughout Canada.”
More information is available at www.safecyclingthunderbay.com/kids