The students were all more motivated to be active. Most felt empowered and successful, especially those that learned to ride during the sessions. They seemed to work together better, encourags each other more, and were more ready to learn after a biking session. We love Boston Bikes!! — BPS Wellness Coordinator
The Youth Cycling Program visits Boston schools and other youth-serving organizations with a fleet of bikes and helmets, a team of instructors, and an active curriculum that gets students riding bikes. Our goal is for participants to have fun on bikes while being active and learning bicycle safety through sheltered opportunities to practice. Our program targets grades 2–12 students and seeks to foster a lifelong love of cycling from an early age while teaching the skills to use a bike for recreation and transit.
We are a mobile program that operates on an application basis to serve a diverse range of schools. This includes elementary, middle, and high school sites, and sometimes local community centers. Our hosts at a school are often PE teachers or Principals, but any teacher can coordinate and host our visit.
Our program visits schools for 1–2 weeks at a time, aiming to see each group of students 3–4 times in our visit. The first time we see students, we conduct a classroom-based interactive bicycle safety workshop. We discuss the importance of wearing a helmet, following traffic laws, and the safe maneuvering of the bike. Lessons are always age-appropriate.
After the first day, lessons move to on-the-bike activities. Using a variety of drills and games, instructors reinforce the lessons of the week and practice bicycle handling skills. Older classrooms may have the option of going on a group ride to local paths or parks. See our program in action at our Gallery below.
In 2014 alone, we partnered with 46 different sites and had 6,858 students participate in safety workshops and on-the-bike practice! This program has been tremendously successful and well received at schools across Boston, with over 24,000 participants from 2009–2014. Our visit is often the highlight of the year for students!
YCP is a tremendous confidence builder for beginners and total enjoyment for those with more skills. YCP is helping lay the foundation for a more bicycle friendly Boston. — BPS PE Teacher