Safe Routes Scoop

Ready to Ride in Ocean Township

 

education was led by physical education teachers Crystal Jahn and Michael Attanasio. During the planning phase, Ms. Jahn and Mr. Attanasio were concerned that some of their students might not be able to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels.  To ensure that these children would be able to get the most out of the program, Ms. Jahn and Mr. Attanasio organized a pair of one-hour “Learn to Ride” classes held after school hours prior to the start of the in-school program.  Using project partner Bike New York’s “balance first” method to get children rolling as they learn to ride, volunteers were able to help teach over 40 children how to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels.

 

“The Learn to Ride classes were great,” said Ms. Jahn. “Seeing kids who had struggled to ride a two-wheeler start pedaling away was thrilling. The kids were so proud of themselves and their classmates.”

 

Following the “Learn to Ride” events, the NJ BIKESChOOL bicycle fleet and program equipment were kept at the Wayside School for a three-week, in-class education unit for 3rd and 4th graders.  The classes covered lessons on:

 

  • Bicycle safety: helmet fitting, the ABC quick check technique, and bicycle adjustments
  • On-bike drills: starting and stopping, steering, scanning, lane changing and signaling, and quick stops

 

  • Off-bike lessons: bicycle parts and traffic sign identification

 

Following the core lessons, Ms. Jahn and Mr. Attanasio set up a “Bicycleville” course using wooden road signs and students as real pedestrians. In this small town setting, students were able to interact with one another on simulated streets and put their new bicycle skills into practice.   

 

Groups of between 40 and 45 students met twice a week during a 40-minute class period. Careful timing was an essential part to the program’s success.  During the three-week course, Ms. Jahn and Mr. Attanasio had to plan their lessons carefully and keep them flexible.  Ms. Jahn noted that “during two class periods, due to inclement weather, we exchanged the outside bicycle drill lessons we planned to cover for a bicycle parts lesson that could effectively be covered indoors.” Through such flexibility, Ms. Jahn and Mr. Attanasio ensured continuity in their program.

 

With only 24 bikes, the teachers faced the added challenge of having more children than bikes. To make sure each child had the most time possible on a bike, Ms. Jahn said they divided up the class so that children of similar

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