Tykes On Bikes
"They love cycling, particularly the younger kids, aged nine and 11. They prefer to cycle than to catch the bus or get a ride with Mum," says a mother of four. Whilst a former pediatric intensive-care nurse believes that cycling can benefit young drivers, observing that most teenagers "haven't had any gradual education about roads and traffic and movement" which cycling provides. Because as one teaches notes "We've got boys who eat fish and chips and drink Coke all day and who can barely sit on a bike, couldn't ride more than a kilometre and who don't know how to change gears." Such are just a smattering of comments from a great piece in the Sydney Morning Herald about how to get more kids out on their bikes. The article does a quick round-up of programs that are working to encourage more children (and their parents) into the saddle. And the reasons for the push are many and varied. Health and lower levels of childhood obesity. Fitness. An appreciation of traffic and roads rules. Reduced traffic congestion. Minimising greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing skills levels. Fostering potential future cycle racers. Developing mobility freedom. The story mentions programs like Bike to School, Ride2School, and the Community and Road Education Scheme (C.A.R.E.S) as examples of how bike skills can be imparted to kids eager to feel the wind in their helmet slots. The Victorian goverment sponsored Ride2School initiative has received $4 million AUD in funding and has a 15 point plan for the successful roll out of similar ventures. And other states are taking notice. For as the aforementioned teacher put it, "Not every kid is suited to rowing a boat or kicking a football, [...] but they all love riding their bikes". Via ::The Sydney Morning Herald.