(Newport, 9/16/11) Just back from chatting up 100+ interested middle schoolers at St. Michael’s in Newport. We started out with a lively discussion about the benefits of bicycling and these kids knew it all: health, fitness, economy, environment – and they also knew that bicycling increases independence, maturity, personal responsibility, personal performance and confidence!
Earlier this week, the students completed a brief online survey so we had some interesting facts to inspire our conversation about bicycling. Going in, we knew that 92% of the group ride bicycles and that those who don’t ride, don’t because they don’t know how. We were reminded by many that living in other towns and on the other side of bridges pretty much rules out bicycling to school … but they would if they could! We learned that 1/2 the group does not wear a helmet regularly and that 57% ride the wrong way on one-way streets. YIKES! SO, we’ve got lots of interest in riding and agreement that we need bicycle education to improve bicycle skills and knowledge.
The group came up with some excellent ideas as next steps for the St. Michael’s School community and they said that they would visit here to share ideas, thoughts, challenges and opportunities. Here are some of their great ideas:
1. Bike education
2. a Bike Club
3. More bike racks at school
4. Participation in Walk/Bike to School Day coming up on October 5 .
Here’s hoping to hear more from our friends at St. Michael’s in the Comment section below.
Thanks to all our friends at St. Michael’s and especially to teacher Tim McMahon, parent Bronwyn McDermott and Head of School Whitney Slade.