This week we finished the last of the community rides. I had the blue group – what a great teaching experience. All my students were delightful, they listened when I needed to teach, accepted coaching tips with a smile, and were excellent bicycle drivers. One of their favorite things was to wave car drivers through intersections when it was their turn to go – they knew the right-of-way rules better than adults. When I told this group that they could do a picture with goofy faces or whatever, they declined, not even bunny ears. One student told me, “That’s so 2014.”In the summertime, there’s a button you can push and water squirts out of the horse’s nostrils.At the end of the day, it usually takes two students to collect jerseys, but this student figured out how to do it by himself:This was one of the best Project Ride Smart sessions we’ve ever had. The students and staff at Westlake Charter School were wonderful to work with.
Monday: Success! After two after-school coaching sessions, several students had learned to ride.Blacktop drills: scanning and left turn.How the bikes were stored each day. The vertical storage was the hardest, lifting the bigger bikes onto high hooks – ugh.By Thursday, the community street rides began:Jason was one of our parent volunteers who rode with my group. Here, his son is teaching him how to do the ABCQuick Check before riding. He did a great job.
WCS is a brand new school, more on than later in a separate blog post. Getting the bikes down every morning from a not-very-good storage system. Note the electric pump for inflating tires – we pumped up 80 tires (omg-sore right thigh muscles).
Students lined up to watch a demonstration of the skills to be practiced:After school, there was one hour of coaching for new riders. My boa of helmets at the end of the day:This was a long day, almost 9 hours, I was sooo tired.
at H Allen Hight School.
The bike-building room. 25 kids come in the morning, 25 come after lunch.Two kids from Project Ride Smart at Natomas Park Elementary got bikes. It was so good to see them again.The staff at North Natomas Transportation Management Association:I set up the obstacle course, the last step of the whole process. There were three great volunteers, Cari, Main, and Joseph and a fellow LCI, Dan Allison. The news media was also on hand.This is such a great community event. Thanks to all the sponsors:
At H Allen Hight. An early morning start!I was so happy to ride my bike the 3 miles to work, at least on Monday and Tuesday. Riding with 7 am commute traffic required vigilance.We got rained out on Wednesday and Thursday, Friday was a beautiful day. In class, helmets on and personal safety check:ABCQuick Check: We divided the students into 2 large groups with 2 LCIs and a parent volunteer and went for a fun ride in Natomas Regional Park. I really liked NOT being in charge, I just showed up and did what I was told – ahhh.After work each day, I worked on a mini-quilt for a friend, Sue Schooley, who gave me a bunch of commemorative t-shirts from the annual Roseville Bikefest that she organizes. Also, a little zippered bag with the scraps.
This week was all street rides. I love my red groups. Mostly they still need to practice basic bike handling skills with minimal on-street maneuvers.We took a little off-pavement pathwhere we discovered the place where Sponge Bob Squarepants lives with his friends according to the boys who described everything in detail.The last class on the last day. Another super successful program!
Monday: Uh-oh, over the weekend, the playground was repaved. We had to redraw four 10′ x 100′ lanes – as in bending over and drawing lines with chalk.Students getting ready to watch a demonstration of the right hand turn, I rode while Pollyanna narrated:Then it was time for the students to practice:By Friday, we were doing the first on-street bike rides. Except for my red group. We stayed on the bike path.Three notable students this week. At left, Natalie who wore ALL pink one day to raise breast cancer awareness. She said, “Breast cancer runs in my family and I want it to stop!” Ana, who must have some kind of natural athletic ability. She was a non-rider and came to the first coaching session. Within 30 minutes, she had taught herself how to ride. Pershing who saw me taking the picture and asked if he could be in it also. Of course!
This morning, I met a group of people attending the California Bike Summit conference who chose to go on a short bike tour of the area served by NNTMA (North Natomas Transportation Management Association) to see ongoing projects and various accomplishments. I didn’t attend the conference but was glad to be invited to go on part of this tour, especially since I am now a resident. We were welcomed by Howard Chan, Sacramento City Manager, and an avid bike rider. At left is Abbey Stumpf, NNTMA Marketing Communications Manager. At right is Becky Heieck, NNTMA Executive Director. At the first stop, we met a city engineer who works closely with NNTMA to make improvements.Next stop, Westlake Charter School where residents strongly objected to having the associated traffic congestion in their neighborhood. A wide-ranging and complicated plan was created to help with the anticipated problems. Solutions included a walking school bus to and from school every day and a web site so parents know where to park and how to move smoothly through the neighborhood. I left the tour at this point to hurry back to Natomas Park Elementary because the whole group would shortly be in our Project Ride Smart classroom to observe.
at Natomas Park Elementary. There are four 5th-grade classes. Pollyanna and I teach two classes per day between 11 am – 2 pm – great schedule – and we’ll be here all of October.There are 3 classroom sessions where students learn the rules of the road, right-of-way rules, all hand signals, and lots more. They watch short video segments then recap what they’ve learned with prompts from the instructors.Outside, we teach about brain function and the importance of wearing a helmet. One watermelon wearing a helmet is dropped with not a scratch (usually), the other watermelon doesn’t wear a helmet and cracks open when dropped – with much ooh-ing and ahh-ing. Pollyanna, is about to say, “No! Don’t pry open the watermelon.”