Bicycle Network: Volunteers
Bike Ed rewards for volunteers
An enthusiastic group of Bike Ed trained Ride2School Volunteers helped Cambridge Primary run their annual Tour de Werribee. The Volunteers had fun, and the school really appreciated their expert assistance.
The annual Tour de Werribee is a much anticipated event at Cambridge Primary. The ride rewards year 4 and 5 students for completing their Bike Ed training. In groups of about 30, they head out along the bike paths near the school for a gentle five kilometre round trip.
The students have learnt good riding skills, and an understanding of bike path etiquette. But when any group of students ventures out of the school grounds, extra support is very useful. This is where the Ride2School Volunteers play an important role.
Three Volunteers, Helen, Laura and Andrew, were invited to the school to assist on the November ride. They were able to help in a wide variety of ways.
The trio gave advice and encouragement where needed as they rode along with students. When some minor mechanical problems occurred, they were able to help. They assisted the students in crossing safely at the pedestrian lights. After a small spill on the path, experienced Volunteer Helen was very quick to offer band-aids from her extensive first aid kit.
The three are part of a growing group of Ride2School Volunteers who have been trained as Bike Ed instructors. Once trained, they agree to offer their assistance at schools in their area which are running Bike Ed programs for their students.
At the schools, the Volunteers help supervise riding skill activities conducted in the school grounds, and help with the management of on-road group rides. They are also invited to help with riding excursions, like the one at Cambridge. The Volunteers always work under the direction of the teachers, who take overall responsibility for the program.
These people tend to be experienced cyclists who want to share their enthusiasm with a new generation of riders. They understand the many benefits of riding a bike, and want to help get more kids using their bikes for transport and recreation. By assisting with Bike Ed, they are helping them to ride more safely.
Laura, who helped out at Cambridge, says being a Bike Ed assistant is great fun. She really enjoyed the course, which she says was both entertaining and informative. She also likes visiting schools during the week. "I work part-time now, so I've got some free time to help the kids with their riding. And it's great to be able to join up with the schools for a ride on my days off".