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By Dr. Joel Bloom
Dr. Joel Bloom, BikeTexas SafeCyclist Field Instructor, presented the SafeCyclist curriculum as a keynote workshop during the BOUNCE Summer Wellness Program at the University of Houston College of Education. BOUNCE is designed to teach girls about nutrition, exercise, and other crucial components of a healthy lifestyle. The SafeCyclist classroom experience introduced these 30 novice cyclists to the importance of bike checks, tire pressure, hand signals, and especially wearing a helmet (using the helmet/egg demo).
The questions covered were dynamic and the girls had some fantastic anecdotal reflections about their first bikes and early adventures riding them. One of the girls brought up a concern about trains crossing her route to school and how she wished there were a crossover. Another interesting set of questions came about shifting gears and why we do it. Several of the girls talked about their bikes being too "short" for their legs, so the group learned about raising the saddle and also about what we do to fit a frame and rider.
After the two-week program was completed, the girl who scored the most participation points won a bike donated by West End Cycles. The whole experience had them buzzing about riding and how cycling could become part of their new focus on a fitness/wellness lifestyle.