Cyclist and SuperCyclist-Certified PE teacher Oscar Torres noticed something very fundamental missing from the Annual Track and Field Day at Williams Elementary School in Pasadena. Bicycling!
So Oscar and fellow PE teacher David Garza fixed that problem this past May 12th when they organized the first annual Williams Track and Field Day Bike Ride. But first, they prepped the students with three weeks of bicycle safety lessons, using the 15-unit SuperCyclist curriculum. By the day of the ride, the kids knew their hand signals and the seven bike laws cold!
Helmet fitting was especially emphasized in the three weeks prior to the event. Assistant principals, Linda Flores and Wendy Wiseburn, also did a helmet fitting check just before the kids mounted up for to the ride.
The five-mile bike ride was from Williams Elementary to the stadium, where the Track and Field Day was being held. Of the 231 Fourth and Fifth Graders participating in the field day, 41 students rode on the bicycle ride.
The Pasadena City Police motorcycle and bicycle units escorted the students through intersections. The Pasadena Noon Optimist Club and parents of students provided the SAG. The school nurse Kim Mokarzel, the assistant athletic director Pam Tevis and her secretary Shannon Lowery were also on hand. The PTA donated a truck to carry the bikes back to the school after the track and field events.
The students who cycled said it was an awesome experience. They were very happy that they made five miles. Many of students wanted to ride farther. “Parents told me they think that if we do it next year, more students are going to sign up because of the way the students reacted when they got off the bus” Oscar reported. Oscar became certified in the SuperCyclist Curriculum at the training in Pasadena on August 15, 2007. He was key in setting up and hosting the training session.
Annual Track and Field events are common year-end events at many schools. Oscar and David have creatively identified a great opportunity for kids to put those SuperCyclist bike safety lessons to good practice in a safe environment. Parents across Texas can duplicate these results with the following steps.
1. Find out if their child’s PE teacher is SuperCyclist certified, and if not, encourage the teacher and principal to contact TBC to schedule a free SuperCyclist certification training.
2. Volunteer to help the SuperCyclist-certified PE teachers when they present the bike safety lessons to the kids.
3. Work with the teachers and school to plan and carry out a bike ride during their child’s track and field day. Don’t forget to get post-ride feedback to improve for next year.
Parents and teachers can contact BikeTexas SuperCyclist Program Director Brenda Chuleewah at (512) 476-7433 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Also look at the top of this web page under the banners “Programs” and then “Education” for the SuperCyclist program overview.