Bicycle Network: National Ride2School Day
Event day activities
The opportunities to make your day as fun as possible are endless! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Decorate your bike days
Hosting a healthy breakfast is a great way to make your day special and congratulate the students that made the effort on the day.
Here are some tips:
- Ask local bakeries, fruit shops or supermarkets to donate food and/or drink.
- Ask parents to help you set up and serve food on event morning.
- Not sure what healthy food to serve? Visit the Nutrition Australia website for further information and advice.
Decorate your bike days
National Ride2School Day provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how fun, east and energising it is to leave the car at home and be active on the way to school. 'Decorate your bike' competitions are a great way to ensure your Ride2School Day is heaps of fun while allowing students to unleash their creativity.
For the 2011 National Ride2School Day Hallam Primary School celebrated with a 'Wacky Wheels Day' whereby students decorated their bikes, helmets and themselves! During the morning assembly, students paraded their creations. Shirley Fletcher, Primary Wellbeing Officer at the school said, "the students as well as the parents really got in on the fun, helping to create a the wonderful feeling of a connected community".
Incredibly often, children tell us that the reason they haven’t ridden to school recently is because ‘my bike is broken’. This usually means one of the following:
- a flat tyre
- a puncture
- frayed or broken brake cable
- worn out brake pads
To fix any of this is simple. But if you don’t want to or can’t do it, why not do one or more of the following:
1. Buy a track pump from a bike shop, and get your Student Leaders to run and promote weekly ‘pump’ sessions by the bike racks. Well-pumped up tyres mean less likelihood of a puncture, a more comfortable ride, and is better for wheels
2. Find a willing and experienced parent/teacher who can run a puncture repair session (30 mins) with teachers/parents and/or kids. Ask a bike shop to donate or sell reduced-price repair kits. Fixing a puncture takes just 5 minutes!
3. Find out where the local bike shop(s) is/are and:
- Let parents know how to find it, and approx. prices for bike safety checks and basic repairs
- Ask if they can spare a mechanic(s) for ‘Dr Bike day’ at your school: kids/parents/teachers to drop off bikes in playground for mechanic to check/do basic repairs on during day – bike collection after school. Can ask for gold coin donation if shop charges a fee. In exchange, you can promote the shop’s generosity in your newsletter/posters and they’ll be likely to gain additional clients! The bike shop may even be happy to do an ‘after-school bike kit sale’ – ask them to sell discounted helmets, locks, hi-viz vests, lights, etc
Parents are much more likely to let their children ride to school if they have assurance that their children’s bikes are safe and roadworthy.
If you’re not yet set up to run Bike Ed sessions, why not offer some fun skill sessions in the playground?
Kids will have the chance to practice their bike handling skills in a completely safe environment, with no traffic or distractions. Once you and the kids are agreed on bike/helmet fit, run over a brief bike check. Tyres should be pumped up, with both front and rear brakes working, the chain should run smoothly and seat/handlebars should be secure. Then make sure they know to use both brakes to slow/stop and they’re off!
Use the playground space to set up a fun but challenging obstacle course using cones, buckets, ropes or hoops. You can design slaloms, funnels/narrowing tracks, stop boxes, and start/finish lines in as big or small an area as is feasible.
Try the course out yourself first and make sure you’ve not set it up too tight, then get them to try it out slowly, then perhaps use a stopwatch to time them on their next go - or if you don’t want them to rush it, show them how they can gain points by riding skilfully and carefully.
Many schools host a special assembly on National Ride2School Day as a way to reiterate the active travel message as well as congratulating the families who participated. Arranging for special guests to speak is a great way to make your assembly special.
Why not invite the following local community members along to your assembly?
- Local member of parliament
- Local mayor or Councillor
- A member of the local police
- Staff at your local bike shop
- A local cycling champion
Click here for more information about getting your community involved in your celebration.
Need better bike parking facilities? National Ride2School Day is the perfect opportunity to let your school community know about your efforts to improve the schools bike parking facilities. You could host a healthy breakfast or decorate your bike day and ask for a gold coin donation. Or, ask local businesses to donate prizes for a raffle.
Be sure to :
- Advertise in your newsletter - click here for sample newsletter inserts
- Let local media know - click here for resources to engage local media including media release templates.
- Let the Ride2School team know. We have a wealth of expertise and knowledge in getting bike parking facilities in schools. Contact us on email or call on 1800 639 634.