A school class gets set to depart on a School Cycling Program training session. Photo courtesy SD71

Comox Valley school district cycling program teaches students how to ride safely

With spring now in full swing, School District 71 is asking drivers in the Comox Valley to watch out and keep safe distance from groups of students cycling on local roads.

Many students are venturing around the Comox Valley while taking part in School Cycling Program training sessions or while out for a tour with their class.

Students are very focused on learning the rules of the road while riding in groups. School Cycling Program organizers take great time in planning the safest routes utilizing bike lanes and on quieter streets.

“Public should be aware there will be large school groups biking around the community,” said Serina Allison, SD 71 district teacher in environmental and outdoor learning. “A very special thank you to local drivers for sharing the roads with our students and for all the positive feedback we’ve heard from pedestrians.”

Comox Valley Schools’ bicycle trailer has a variety of bikes, helmets, lights, safety equipment and lots of gear for supportive lessons. There are also two adaptive bikes with “fat wheels” for supportive riding for youth.

The district bike program has two parts to it:

• District bikes are available for all teachers. Any teacher can book out bikes for their classes. Teachers can tie biking to teaching lessons all while exploring the community. This can be part of physical health education programs and encouraging active transport to schools.

• SD 71’s School Cycling Program is for students in grades 4 and 5. The district partners with the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition on co-running bike and road safety training sessions. SD 71 brings district bikes, and other equipment for skills handling sessions. SD 71’s cycling coordinator works with staff on grade/age-appropriate lessons.

This spring, hundreds of students took part in SD 71’s School Cycling Program. A total of seven schools participated this year. Students typically go through a day of bike handling skills training. This is followed by an intro to road riding cycling lesson.

Comox Valley Schools sends out a huge thank you to the volunteers from the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition for their dedication to the school cycling program and for going above and beyond to support teachers with their class cycling experiences.

To learn more, visit the SD 71 District Bikes website at https://bit.ly/3a8TQeK

For more information on the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, visit https://cyclecv.com/

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CyclingSchool District 71

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