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News / Blog Education News
Education Fund News

Rolling to Class: Back to School 2017

Thursday, August 24 2017 05:33

Ready or not, the new school year is here! We send our best wishes to students, teachers, and parents as they set out on this new learning adventure. Now's also the best time to think about the trip to school every morning.

brain slide

Biking or walking to school gives your child (or you!) tremendous health and mental benefits. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the US, and regular physical activity can help protect your child: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day for children and adolescents.

In addition to getting kids active, studies have shown a link between children being active on their way to school and their ability to concentrate once they arrive. Doss Elementary School in Austin has noticed this firsthand: after just a few months of the school's bike program, teacher Amanda Swann said, "children who walk/ride to school are much better prepared to sit and learn and have gotten those ‘wiggles’ out on that trip to school instead of during school."

 

So, time to get everybody ready to roll!

Girls walking to school

1. Learn how to do the ABC Quick Check before every ride.

2. Make sure everyone in your family has a properly fitted helmet. 

3. Get a refresher on the rules of the road with the Texas Bicycle Laws Activity Cards. (PDF download)

4. When's the last time you changed a flat tire? Find step-by-step instructions here. (PDF download)

5. Find more fun ways to learn about biking and walking on the BikeTexas Educational Resources page here.

6. Does your bike need a tuneup? Click here to check out the BikeTexas bike shop members in your area.

 

Headed to college and not sure about your transportation options?

  1. Did you bring your bike to campus? You're already ahead of the game. Now's the time to brush up on the Texas Bike Laws--nobody wants a ticket in their first semester of college.
  2. Using a bus or train for the first time? You're not alone--many students try transit for the first time when they leave home for school. Check out this guide to public transportation and you'll be ready to roll.
  3. Hoping to stave off the First Year 15? Biking and walking are your friend in times of need.

 

Want to plan a Bike/Walk to School Day for your school or community?

  1. bike lightsInternational Walk to School Day is October 4! Check out listings on the Walk to School Day site to find an event near you or to register your event.
  2. Check out the Bike/Walk to School Day chapter in the BikeTexas Event Handbook for tips to make everything run smoothly. Start with the Team Leader Checklist (PDF download) to get you well on your way.
  3. Order activity books and lights from BikePedEd to make sure you have plenty of fun giveaway items on hand. Pass this info on to your school district, too, so that they have plenty of bike and walk safety items to hand out all year long.

 

Biking/Walking not a feasible option for your family?

Never fear: You are not forgotten! StreetsBlog LA shared excellent advice from Jim Shanman, the executive director of Walk n Rollers: "Instead of driving all the way to school, try parking 5 blocks away and walking the rest. Spending an extra 10 minutes with your kids and avoiding the drop off crush is an excellent – and rewarding – way to start your day." Read more of Jim's suggestions here.

You might also consider joining-- or starting-- a walking school bus or a bike train in your neighborhood. Parents take turns being the leaders, reducing each person's overall time commitment-- a valuable commodity for busy parents. Learn more: info about walking school buses here and info about bike trains here.

Above all, have a great school year, and happy riding!

 

Does Your Helmet Fit?

This information and other SafeCyclist Teacher Master Pages are available as PDF downloads on our Educational Resources page.

 

helmet head measurement

Helmet Sizing

Bicycle helmets come in standard sizes to fit heads with different circumferences. A bicycle helmet that doesn’t fit or isn’t adjusted properly is not safe. The size you need depends on the circumference of your head.

Compare the circumference of your head to the chart below to determine what size your helmet should be. Your helmet should fit snugly, so use the different thickness pads that come with your helmet to adjust the fit. Helmets are standardized but heads are not, so you’ll want to use the right combination of thick and thin pads in front and back or on the sides to make sure your helmet fits your head in all directions. Many helmets also come with a twistable adjuster at the back to achieve the correct snugness on your head.

helmet size chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helmet Adjustment

Eyes

Your helmet should be flat on your head and you should be able to see the front of the helmet just at the top of your vision. Having trouble getting it right? Put two fingers over your eyebrows; your helmet should rest just on top of your fingers. Any higher up and it isn’t sitting flat on your head—bring the front of the helmet further down. (If you’ve never had a properly adjusted helmet before, it will feel a bit weird at first.)

Ears

The side adjustment buckles should form a “V” shape under, and slightly in front of, your ears. When properly fitted, your helmet should not be able to be pushed backwards or forwards.

Mouth

Always buckle the strap under your chin. The chin straps should be buckled and checked for tightness on every ride. It should be snug but not uncomfortably tight. Open your mouth wide—you should feel the strap tugging on the helmet.

helmet fit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check for fit

With the helmet correctly positioned on your head, gently rotate the helmet from left to right and from front to back without moving your head. If the skin on your forehead moves with the helmet, then the fit is correct.

If your helmet easily slides across your forehead, then it is too loose. Take it off and adjust the pads inside, or twist the adjuster at the back to tighten it up so it can protect you in the event of a crash.

Replace a helmet after a crash

The impact of a crash will crush the foam inside your helmet, even if you can’t see any damage.

Always replace a helmet after crashing in it, because it will lose its ability to protect your head next time.

   

Learn and Roll: Back to School 2016

Teachers, students, and parents are already in the swing of a new school year. How's it going so far? Is your bicycle rolling with you to class?

brain slide

Biking or walking to school gives your child (or you!) tremendous health and mental benefits. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the US, and regular physical activity can help protect your child: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day for children and adolescents.

In addition to getting kids active, studies have shown a link between children being active on their way to school and their ability to concentrate once they arrive. Doss Elementary School in Austin has noticed this firsthand: after just a few months of the school's bike program, teacher Amanda Swann said, "children who walk/ride to school are much better prepared to sit and learn and have gotten those ‘wiggles’ out on that trip to school instead of during school."

 

So, time to get everybody ready to roll!

Girls walking to school

1. Learn how to do the ABC Quick Check before every ride.

2. Make sure everyone in your family has a properly fitted helmet. (PDF download)

3. Get a refresher on the rules of the road with the Texas Bicycle Laws Activity Cards. (PDF download)

4. When's the last time you changed a flat tire? Find step-by-step instructions here. (PDF download)

5. Find more fun ways to learn about biking and walking on the BikeTexas Educational Resources page here.

6. Does your bike need a tuneup? Click here to check out the BikeTexas bike shop members in your area.

 

Want to plan a Bike/Walk to School Day for your school or community?

  1. bike lightsInternational Walk to School Day is October 5! Check out the interactive map on the Walk to School Day site to find an event near you or to register your event.
  2. Check out the Bike/Walk to School Day chapter in the BikeTexas Event Handbook for tips to make everything run smoothly. Start with the Team Leader Checklist (PDF download) to get you well on your way.
  3. Order activity books and lights from BikePedEd to make sure you have plenty of fun giveaway items on hand. Pass this info on to your school district, too, so that they have plenty of bike and walk safety items to hand out all year long.

 

Biking/Walking not a feasible option for your family?

Never fear: You are not forgotten! StreetsBlog LA shared excellent advice from Jim Shanman, the executive director of Walk n Rollers: "Instead of driving all the way to school, try parking 5 blocks away and walking the rest. Spending an extra 10 minutes with your kids and avoiding the drop off crush is an excellent – and rewarding – way to start your day." Read more of Jim's suggestions here.

You might also consider joining-- or starting-- a walking school bus or a bike train in your neighborhood. Parents take turns being the leaders, reducing each person's overall time commitment-- a valuable commodity for busy parents. Learn more: info about walking school buses here and info about bike trains here.

 

Above all, have a great school year, and happy riding!

   

Buy Groceries, Support Bicycling

2015 HEB tearpad photo biketexas

It's our favorite time of year at HEB-- this month's tearpads at HEB checkout stands across the state benefit Earthshare of Texas!

BikeTexas is proud to be one of Earthshare's partner organizations. When you shop at HEB and include a $1, $3, or $5 ticket from the tearpad, that money is distributed to nonprofit organizations around the state, including BikeTexas!

This promotion only runs during April, so don't miss out! Head to your local HEB and support bicycle advocacy in Texas while you shop.

 

 

   

#LongForTheRide: Texas' Bike-Winning Fifth Grader

texas poster winner bike saris racks biketexas bicycle education 2015Many congratulations to Uzziel Rangel of Bonner Elementary in Tyler, the statewide winner of the Saris 2015 Fifth Grade National Poster Contest.

Uzziel and his father put his new bicycle together this week. George Brigman, Uzziel's teacher, says, "Uzziel Rangel is so excited about winning in the Saris Bike Poster contest. He was talking about how he would protect it – try to keep from getting any scratches and keep it beside his bed. Uzziel tries his best all the time and has great manners."

According to Mr. Brigman, all of his students enjoy Saris' annual contest: "Bonner does have great artists who try their best. This is a contest that all the fifth graders look forward too."

Thank you to all the teachers in Texas who submitted posters to the Saris 2015 Fifth Grade National Poster Contest! See all the Texas posters here, and check back soon to hear more about the second and third place winners!

Thank you Saris Parking, maker of bicycle parking systems and racks for hosting the contest for the fifth year. In their words, "Our #longfortheride campaign blossomed from our own admiration and commitment to cycling in the United States. Riding a bike is not only good for the soul, it benefits the health, wellness, safety and vitality of a community. What better way to display the bicycle’s importance than by asking kids to show us what they love about the bicycle. There’s just something inexplicable that happens each time you reach for the handlebars. And as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words."

Photos: Uzziel and his new bike; Uzziel with his brothers and sisters 

texas poster winner family biketexas bicycle education 2015

   

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