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KidsKup 2013 Off to an Exciting Start

The exciting final sprint of the Rocky Hill race.Saturday, February 9, dawned grey and dreary, with some drizzle and light rain. BikeTexas staff headed out to Smithville to kick off the 2013 KidsKup series with the Rocky Hill Roundup. Before long, we had over 30 children registered and the course was laid out, so the course opened for pre-riding.

The first rider on the course was a two-year-old on his strider bike. He rode all over until his dad convinced him to ride within the blue lines, but the young man took Dad at his word and rode directly on the blue line! The other children and their parents enjoyed watching him make the first lap, and then all of the riders were on the course, each taking turns. It was very refreshing to see that the children's and parents' enthusiasm was not dimmed in the least by the dismal weather.

Their enthusiasm spread to everyone in attendance and before long we had a fairly large crowd of not only riders but a great group of parents and siblings of the riders. There was also a group of the older children who were to race in the teens' official race later, but who gathered to watch the younger competitors.

At noon, all of the KidsKup riders gathered for the mandatory riders' safety meeting, which is similar to the safety meetings for the adults. The exception for the younger riders is the emphasis on always wearing helmets, along with some street riding safety. By the time the safety meeting was finished, the children were all ready to ride.

The announcer, Jeff Chattin from Trek, helped build enthusiasm in the crowd as he called the racers to the start line. Racing at KidsKup always starts with the youngest riders-- this is normally also the smallest group. As the older groups had their turns in succession, the crowd of supporters continued to grow. The oldest group lined up and they were getting ready to start when one of the parents shouted "Please wait!" They had just arrived and the youngster wanted to race. Mr. Chattin held the other riders just long enough for someone to put the number on the bike.

Mr. Chattin cried out "GO." Straight off the line, this was a very competitive race. The young man who had arrived last jumped to an early lead and continued to widen the gap. However, at the last turn before lap two he slid and went down. This allowed the second place rider to pass him. The fallen rider recovered right away and the two young men had a mad sprint to the finish with the formerly second place rider holding off the challenger to beat him to the finish line. At such an exciting finish, there was a lot of loud cheering from parents, riders that had finished earlier, and by some of the adult MTB racers scheduled to race later in the day. All the young riders congratulated one another and displayed great sportsmanship.

The Rocky Hill Roundup was a great start to a new, longer season of the BikeTexas KidsKup 2013. Don't miss out on the next race! See the complete schedule here for a race near you.


SafeCyclist Certification in Brownsville

SafeCyclist Certification Group in Brownsville. Photo courtesy of Rose Gowen.The City of Brownsville seeks to increase bicycling and walking and to promote healthy lifestyles. Brownsville City Commissioner Dr. Rose Gowen has previously written about Brownsville's efforts to create a vibrant, prosperous, and healthy community. BikeTexas is happy to continue to partner with Brownsville’s leaders to help achieve this goal.

In one more step towards a healthy community, Dr. Gowen, Brownsville ISD Wellness Coordinator Anisa Gonzales, and PE/Health Curriculum specialist Fred Tamez worked with BikeTexas to train Brownsville ISD elementary and middle school teachers in the SafeCyclist curriculum

The Brownsville ISD Wellness Center was a great venue for the training with its large gym and cafeteria to accommodate the 29 enthusiastic participants. In addition to Brownsville PE teachers, BISD Police, UT School of Public Health, City of Brownsville Health Department, and the non-profit Healthy Communities of Brownsville all sent staff members to learn the fun SafeCyclist program. All of the attendees are now certified to share the bicycle and walking safety lessons with schoolchildren.

Dr. Susan Hart of UT Brownsville arranged an additional training on UTB campus. BikeTexas was delighted to train 18 students who will be P.E. teachers after they graduate. These young educators are now equipped to teach their future students about bicycle safety, starting in their first year of teaching.

While BikeTexas staff were in Brownsville, they also met with community leaders to discuss Brownsville’s second Open Streets event, CycloBia (with a ‘B’ for Brownsville). The city’s first CycloBia was November 4, 2012, and fired up from the success of that event, the community is looking forward to the second CycloBia on March 17. Brownsville’s eventual CycloBia plan is to open the streets for the community four times a year. With the momentum Brownsville has going for a healthier community, there is no doubt they will achieve this plan soon.


Irving's Valuable Community Partnerships

Presenter Regina Garcia speaks to Irving teachers.Imagine living in a community where all students walk to school. Students meet at hub points around the school and walk as a group. There’s no pick-up and drop-off congestion in school zones because no cars are allowed in.

When BikeTexas Board Member Francesca Funk lived in Japan for many years, this is exactly what her community was like. After seeing the happy children, parents, and teachers who all think of walking to school as a normal part of life, she was motivated to improve the walking and biking journey—and get rid of congestion around schools—for students in Irving, Texas.

Fortunately, every member of the Irving Bike Lane Task Force wants to make the school journey safer and better. The Irving Bike Lane Task Force was formed in 2009 as a joint citizen and city initiative to make Irving bicycle friendly. The goal of the Task Force is to make the bicycle "automatically integrated into the complete picture of transportation in Irving, as primary as the automobile."

The Task Force is made up of dedicated citizens, city staff, and Irving police, who work cooperatively to make bicycle transportation as normal as car transportation in Irving. Using the five Es of a bicycle friendly community as guideposts, the Task Force works especially diligently to connect the dots between Education, Enforcement, and Encouragement. The underlying intention of this approach is to prepare the community so that when the Engineering features like bike lanes and cycle tracks are implemented, everyone on the roads will be prepared to use them correctly and safely.

irving teachers practice the SafeCyclist curriculum lessons.Irving Police School Resource Officer (and Task Force member) Sgt. Kevin Denney took the lead in reaching out to Irving ISD. Sandi Cravens, Irving ISD PE Coordinator, immediately took action to organize a SafeCyclist Certification training for all of Irving’s elementary and middle school Physical Education teachers. On January 14, 80 teachers gathered at the Police and Fire Academy in Irving—40 in the morning and 40 in the afternoon. Nationally known cycling educator Regina Garcia joined BikeTexas staff to train Irving’s teachers to teach school children how to safely walk and bike.

Several Irving ISD schools have enthusiastically volunteered to pilot this program, so now Sandi, Kevin, and Francesca will join with Irving’s Traffic department to adapt the implementation practices Francesca experienced when her child walked to school in Japan.

BikeTexas has seen the SafeCyclist curriculum lead to a love of active transportation in Texas children that remains with them as they become Texas adults. This investment in Irving’s schoolchildren will pay off in safer streets and happier school trips for all. For more photos from this event, see our Facebook page.


KidsKup Spring Races Coming in February

The year's first BikeTexas KidsKup races are coming in February! We saw 276 kids come out for KidsKup races in 2012; will your child be one of them in 2013?

KidsKup Participants at Pace BendKidsKup is a great chance for kids to practice their mountain biking skills, gain confidence, make new friends, enjoy the great outdoors, and get some physical activity without even knowing it! It's also a great chance for moms and dads to meet other parents with similar interests from their area and across the state.

For a complete list of BikeTexas KidsKup policies and pictures from previous events, see our KidsKup page.

When will KidsKup be in your community? Here's the 2013 Spring Schedule:

Sun and Ski Sports Rocky Hill Roundup
Feb. 9, 2013
Smithville, TX

STORM Hill Country Challenge
Feb. 23, 2013
Comfort, TX

Mellow Johnny's Classic
Mar. 2, 2013
Dripping Springs, TX

GHORBA Big Ring Challenge
Mar. 23, 2013
Coldspring, TX

Solovaca Cat Claw Classic
Apr. 6, 2013
Glen Rose, TX

ARR Pace Bend
Apr. 21, 2013
Austin, TX

Bicycles Plus Blowout
May 4, 2012
Cedar Hill, TX

Bikesport Presents the Warda Race
May 19, 2012
Warda, TX

See the TMBRA website for the latest details on each race. We look forward to seeing you and your children at the 2013 KidsKup races!


BikeTexas SafeCyclist Curriculum at TAHPERD

A teacher checks out BikeTexas resources at the TAHPERD convention.The Moody Gardens Convention Center in Galveston was host to the 89th Annual TAHPERD (Texas Association of Health, PE, Recreation and Dance) Convention. On November 28-30, 2012, BikeTexas staffed a booth promoting the SafeCyclist Certification Program and BikeTexas educational materials and resources. Approximately 2700 current and future Texas Physical Education teachers were in attendance.

The convention provided BikeTexas staff an opportunity to reunite with teachers who have participated in the SafeCyclist Certification. They expressed their appreciation of the valuable resources that BikeTexas provides to support their teaching of bicycle and pedestrian safety. Since 1991, BikeTexas has trained over 4,000 teachers, who have in turn taught approximately 200,000 children every year since the program began.

At the BikeTexas booth, new teachers received an introduction to the SafeCyclist training and resources. The SafeCyclist Certification training is a three-hour interactive class introducing the SafeCyclist curriculum to teachers, public safety workers, and other professionals who work with young people. In the class, the teachers get to play the games for themselves in preparation for teaching their students. The SafeCyclist curriculum makes learning bicycle and pedestrian laws fun. Studies have found that moderate physical activity influences our learning ability and our cognitive performance, which helps these lessons to stick with the students long after they leave the classroom.

Are you interested in learning the SafeCyclist curriculum? Check out the training schedule or Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spambots. Es necesario activar Javascript para visualizarla .


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