Bike Safety Class at College Place Middle School

Of our eight fleets of bikes, one is a fully geared, hand-brake equipped set serving 6th to 8th graders in the Edmonds School District.

Right now, you can catch a glimpse of our Advanced Basics of Bicycling trailer with the Verdant Health Commission logo parked at College Place Middle School in Lynnwood.

A little over a week ago, my colleague Khatsini and I went to help out Ms. Amber Shelley with her 8th grade classes. We set up cones, stop signs and directional arrows to form a four way stop, and practiced lane positioning and signaling for turns.

Previously, Khatsini and I had both led rodeos and other bicycle education courses but we hadn’t taught as a team before nor worked with an entire middle school P.E. class. In preparation, we discussed the Advanced Basics of Bicycling curriculum, made a detailed plan to compliment Ms. Shelley's own curriculum, and prepared ourselves to answer all sorts of questions. Little did we know, we’d be blown away by the 8 o’clock class of sleepy teenagers!

Soon after we asked them to review the helmet fit rule, rules for riding the bikes and the ABC Quick Check, we learned that these kids were rockstars of bike safety!They were great listeners, fast learners and attentive students.

One might think that 25 or so Middle Schoolers on bikes would be hard to manage but not these ones! I’d like to give a special shout out to Ms. Shelley’s five very well-behaved P.E. classes, the two kids that started riding for the first time and the class that stayed outside riding in the pouring rain (even as a group of elementary students walked by, holding their instrument cases over their heads for cover and staring at us in shivering disbelief).

These kids made our first Basics of Bicycling experience a great one! We can’t wait to do it again.