Brand new Bike It School; St John Fisher in the Borough of Merton saw 160 pupils cycle or scoot to school for their first launch event. We had a bike powered smoothie maker, cycle skills on the school playground and a free raffle, all before the school day had even started! It was great to see so many parents mingling together over breakfast. This just goes to show that the cold weather will not hold back our London Bike It schools! A huge thank you to everyone who attended and especially to the staff at St John Fisher who made this event possible.
Bike It schools from both boroughs (Merton and Wandsworth) sent one to two representatives each for the whole day to Southfields Academy. The idea behind the training days are to build the confidence of the school staff, broaden understanding of Bike It and develop skills to deliver activities.
The day consisted of:
1) Over coming cycle barriers
2) How Bike It can help with your School Travel Plan
3) We had special guests; Jane from Wandsworth Council, Kate from TFL and Anthony from Greenwich
4) How to deliver Cycle Skills on the school playground
5) Different cycle resources available i.e the smoothie bike and the bike electric generator
6) School Bike It Mark and how to work towards the award
7) The ‘M’ check (a way of checking a bike is safe to ride)
8) Ideas exchange and networking with other school champions
A Bike It Crew is the pupil voice of any Bike It school, typically this group is made of three year fives and three year sixes. The Crew will help the school Champions and Bike It Officer in organising and promoting events, presenting assemblies, important decision making and weekly bike counts.
We ask the pupils to apply by making a poster about ‘why they should be part of the Bike It Crew’ and what they can bring to the team. Jackie Nolan and Mr Caicedo (Bike It Champions pictured below) at Albermarle Primary in Wandsworth are having to make the difficult decision of choosing the strongest applications, Mr Caicedo will then take pupils through a small interview to make a final decision.
Good luck to those applying!
Two Brent Bike It Schools were awarded with Official Team GB Olympic Skin Suits.
Children and from St Joseph’s Junior and Oakington Manor cycled together to receive the prizes at Brent Civic Centre, with Head Teacher Mark Betts from St Joseph’s Junior, Will Scott Teacher/Bike It Champion from Oakington Manor Primary,and Ruth Chiat, Bike It Officer Brent.
These awesome prizes are awarded in recognition of the schools fantastic acheivements in cycling during the Brent Sky Ride program. Both schools saw an unprecedented number of participants who came in connection with the schools, including Teaching Staff, Head Teachers and Bike It Champions. One of the rides they took part in was 20 miles long!
After the success of the first cycling olympics at Wood End Academy in the summer, the school held its second successful event of this kind today. Despite the cold and grey weather children at Wood End Academy greatly enjoyed riding their bikes in the playground and taking part in bike games and competitions.
17 brilliant cyclists in Year 5 and 6 showed off their cycle skills in a number of cycle challenges, including the Olympic Ring, Turtle Race, Grandmother’s Footsteps, and the Boomerang Race. Children were competing in 6 teams, and each team was assigned a country and collected points for their teams. The races were very competitive and all young cyclists did their best to win. However, there was a plenty of good humour too and it felt as if the spirit of great London Olympics was present throughout the event.
The three teams with the most points will be revealed tomorrow in a special assembly and rewarded with prizes. The team which came first will be presented with gold medals.
We were so glad that the event finally happened! The children had to wait nearly a month for the event to take place as it was originally scheduled for October, but had to be rearranged due to heavy rain. We were all holding our fingers crossed for a dry weather this morning and finally we made it!
It takes a brave man to think he can add to a classic song. Cat Stevens’s legendary song Father and Son speaks of the relationship between the two with lyrics such as ” get a girl, settle down ..if you want you can marry” , ahh so here comes the courageous bit. How about if we add “get a bike and learn to ride” , somewhere along Steven’s journey of life. When I became a father, getting Ethan on his bike was without doubt.Just when and how.Even being an experienced and lifelong cyclist left me in a cold sweat, thinking of him on London’s busy roads.Working as a cyclist in a professional capacity only slightly cushioned the impact of the dreaded day when we would venture onto the wilderness of London’s open roads.
I made this video of Ethan riding to school as part instructional and inspirational, so parents may gain courage and comfort in the fact that such things are possible.Ethan learnt to ride when he was 4 years old. He was on roads by the time he was 5 . We are lucky to live in a quiet suberb of london. At first I chose days and times when I new there would be less traffic on the roads. I took Ethan to a local cul de sac where he could get a feel of the road and the be amoungst the enormity of cars and trucks.
I took Ethan out as often as possible, not always for fun rides but as way of getting to the library, shops etc.With every venture I could see the desire to ride getting stronger. Now riding is his accepted and indeed his preferred way to get around.
I must say getting to this point where we are today has not been plain sailing, far from it.There have been many stressfull times for us and still though he looks amazing on the bike , there are times when boys-will-be-boys and the freedom of an open road is too irresistable.
I can only hope that Ethan continues riding throughout his life but if not at least I tried and I will always love him …Dad
- Parents tempted with tea, coffee and biscuits…….check!
- M-check and helmet fitting advice given……………..check!
- Stabilisers removed…………………………………………………..check!
- Collect children for session………………………………………check!
- Lovely sunny weather to start the session……………….hmmmm…….un check! 😦
Not even the rain could put off parents and children attending the destabiliser session run by Andy Casson (Bike It Officer for Redbridge and Enfield) at Farnham Green Primary school in Redbridge. They were nervous, a little bit boisterous, and needed plenty of encouragement to go out into the rain, but once their children arrived the parents soon got into this after school session.
For most children this was the first time they had been on their bikes without stabilisers, and for some parents it was the first time they had attempted to teach a child how to ride. And so the learning for both began.
The destabiliser session showed parents and children:
- How to get their child on the bike
- How to support their children without bending too much and hurting your back
- How to start and stop with at least one foot on the floor (children who are used to stabilisers tend fall off as they keep both feet on their pedals when they start and stop,)
- How to progress each child from one stage to the next. Assisted start- assisted stop-balance-turn-turn the other way-idependent start and stop- repeat
- And don’t forget to SMILE 🙂
There were some tears, some falls, some bumps and scrapes, and the odd tantrum, but by the end of the session children (and parents) were smiling and proud of what had been achieved. All of the children had managed to ride without assistance, some for short periods or time and others for longer more controlled laps of the playground.
By advising and supporting parents throughout, the learning does not stop at the end of the playground session. Parents and children were already planning to go to their local park over the weekend for more practice.
We expect we will be seeing more bikes without stabilisers in the bike shelter soon.
Welcome to the world of two wheels for twelve new little riders, no need for stabilisers now.
The hopping game to prepare them for sitting and balancing on the bike
Now for a little parental support before they take their first wobbly pedals
Throughout the school summer term Sustrans, in London, ran a second series of ‘Olympic Cycling Taster Sessions’, building on their huge success of the previous year. These gave pupils from schools across capital the chance to experience two of the Olympic cycling disciplines.
Over 1500 pupils from 80 schools across London took part in the BMX and Track cycling sessions, an increase of over 70% on previous year. Each session was lead by fully qualified coaches from Access Sport and British Cycling at BMX tracks located in Greenwich and Hackney, as well as the historic Herne Hill Velodrome.
In addition to the taster sessions Sustrans London also ran a series Superhero themed family bike rides delivered in Bike It Boroughs throughout London by the Bike It Officers, with over 120 pupils, parents and teachers taking part.
The continued success of these events, following on from the great accomplishments of last year’s taster sessions, proves a growing interest and hunger for these to be held annually. Sustrans London would like to continue the delivery of the ‘Olympic Cycling Taster Sessions’ cementing them as a core activity of the Bike it Plus project.
- 64 primary 6 secondary and 1 SEN school took part in the BMX sessions
- 1480 pupils aged between 9 and 13 took part in the BMX sessions
- 8 primary and 1 secondary school took part in the Herne Hill Velodrome track sessions
- 180 pupils aged between 9 and 13 took part in the Herne Hill Velodrome track sessions
- 5 primary and 1 secondary school took part in the Superhero rides, with 127 pupils aged between 9 and 13 taking part
Initial feedback from schools and BIOs has showed that:
- All participating schools expressed an interest in attending the taster sessions again
- Tower Hamlet’s School, Cayley Primary, have incorporated BMX into their P.E. Curriculum, utilising their local BMX pump track having sought funding independently
- RedbridgeSchool, John Bramston Primary, have re-established Schools BMX club following attendance at BMX session
- 27 pupils have joined local BMX tracks, and 4 have started to attend sessions at Herne Hill Velodrome
- At least 32 of the participating schools will be utilising local BMX tracks in the future
In addition Access sport is looking to expand delivery of the project into boroughs that the Bike It Plus project is already engaged with as well as those targeted for engagement in the next academic year. This increase in size will enable a greater engagement with schools and assist in the organisation of more BMX Clubs being run in schools.
7 very talented children from St Joseph’s Junior in Wembley performed a magnificent Bike Ballet routine at the opening of Brent’s new Civic Centre.
The adoring crowd were wowed by fabulous formation cycling and special moves and tricks in time to the popular track Gangnam Style. The group trained hard at school and got creative, inventing their own new tricks for the show. Bike It Officer for Brent, Ruth, who worked with them to create the show, was very proud !
St Joseph’s Catholic Junior have a Sustrans Silver School Mark. They are working hard to develop sustainable travel at the school and love to incorporate new and interesting activities!