Bicycle safety could be as easy to remember as riding a bike.
But teaching safety requires some teaching itself, so a bicycle education training session will be available for local physical education teachers Saturday at the Amarillo Independent School District Education Support Center.
The session, part of the Texas Bicycle Coalition’s Safe Routes to School program, will provide fourth- and fifth-grade P.E. teachers and other invited guests with a bike safety curriculum.
It will include lessons on starting and stopping a bike, watching for obstacles, wearing brightly colored clothes, using hand signals, and riding in bicycle lanes.
The Safe Routes to School program promotes an active lifestyle for children and alternative transportation habits for everyone. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund and United Supermarkets.
“We’re trying to make Amarillo bike friendly,” said Joyce Cunningham, Safe Routes to School local outreach coordinator. “Gasoline prices are getting worse, pollution is getting worse, and these are things that most people can do to combat these situations.
“If we can get the kids interested, it’s amazing how those parents will jump in, and they’ll get interested, too.”
Amarillo, Canyon and other Panhandle cities have been designated as a target areas for the program.
The Texas Bicycle Coalition trained about 30 AISD teachers at a session last year, so a smaller number will be involved this time, Cunningham said.
Denise Blanchard, AISD program director for community partnerships, endorsed the Safe Routes program.
“We certainly know that riding bikes is a healthy behavior,” Blanchard said. “And we also know that there are a lot of bicycle rules that people don’t understand and they don’t know.”
Copyright Amarillo Globe-News; full article reprinted with permission.