News

Stay up-to-date with the Ride2School Program

Help get students in Sydney's Northern Beaches pedalling

11 August 2016. If you live in the Northern Beaches and would like to get your school up and moving get in touch with us.

Ride2School has been operating in NSW for almost two years now, we have achieved significant milestones working with Orange, North Sydney and the newly formed Inner West Council along with many others.

Our mission is simple – to increase the number of students actively travelling to school (ride, walk, skate or scoot) and decrease the number of children being driven to school.

We are excited to be starting work in the Northern Beaches and would like to put the call out to all our members. We are also trialing a partnership with Tour De Cure’s schools program to see if we can improve the effectiveness of both programs by working together.

If you are outside of the Northern Beaches but still keen to get your school moving let us know and we will start talking to your local council to see what can be organised.

Ride2School
Alex Carpenter
(02) 9098 1186
alexc@bicyclenetwork.com.au
 

Ride2School launches ACTIVEpaths in North West Tas and Hobart

27 June 2016. Primary school students in  Ulverstone and the Glenorchy City Council areas have a safer and easier way to ride to school following the launch of ACTIVEpaths

Ride2School launched ACTIVEpaths at both East and West Ulverstone Primary schools as well as Austins Ferry and Bowen Road Primary.

The paths are designed to be a route-finding exercise that reinforces safe behaviour for the school population while enabling a safer alternative to actively travel to school.

Utilising teardrop-shaped directional decals on the footpath at regular intervals and decision points, the paths start from up to 1200m out and travel by the most direct route, avoiding barriers and potential dangerous environments such as high-traffic roads and unsafe crossing points.

The Stop, Look, Listen, Think message is reinforced at crossing points with large yellow warning decals at a safe yet relevant distance before students reach the roadside.

The schools are an important part of the development of the paths. The process starts with a workshop comprising students, staff, parents and council. This is where barriers and potential dangers are identified and the current methods and journeys to school are mapped by the students to create a basis for our planners to interpret and create the final version.

ACTIVEpaths are launched at the school by a celebration of the paths and the school body meeting at their most relevant path to walk the route together, arriving at school simultaneously and finishing with a healthy breakfast and presentation by the Mayor.

So far five Tasmanian schools are recipients of the ACTIVEpaths, with another planned for early term three 2016 in Youngtown, Launceston.

National Ride2School Day Awards and Grants

27 April 2016

As part of National Ride2School Day 2016, Ride2School had one of three prizes valued at one of three prizes valued at $5,000 each. These prizes were designed to grow a schools active travel culture.

To qualify schools had to follow these two simple steps: 

  • Registered for National Ride2School Day 2016
  • Complete at least one HandsUp! count between now and Friday 4 March 2016

We're proud to announce we have three worthy winners,

  • Violet Street Primary
  • Glenroy West Primary
  • Penshurts Primary School

In addition to the schools awards, Ride2School also had an additional $10,000 to award to the Victorian council with the most active community. We're proud to provide this award to the City of Port Philip. 

Port Phillip Council Mayor Bernadene Voss said, “The Ride2School program fits with our community-wide efforts to make it easier for people to ride and walk around Port Phillip. On Ride2School day, students walking to school increased 22 per cent, reducing traffic around school drop-off and pick-up times. Council achieved these results by working closely with teachers, students and parents from 13 local schools.

“The prize money will be reinvested into the school travel program this year to further help schools encourage a walking and bike riding culture. Helmets off to our growing list of young, healthy and active travellers." add Cr Voss.

By taking part in National Ride2School Day, the City of Port Phillip saw more than 2900 students participate, which reduced car travel from 40 to 18 per cent of the student population on the day.

In more good news, four schools have further committed to run ongoing programs which encourage walking, riding and the use of public transport. Counts conducted after Ride2School Day indicate car use has remained at a low of 30 per cent.

Port Phillip’s Ride2School initiatives complement Council’s ongoing efforts to encourage people to get on their bikes, get healthy and reduce their impact on the environment. It also provides an important reminder that we can leave the car at home.

Ride2School Active Rewards

27 April 2016

As program we're always looking at how we can provide more value and support to schools in our program. In a new trial for Term 2, we're excited to announce a initiative called Active Rewards. A new loyalty program to reward schools who are committed to building a happy and healthy school environment through riding and walking.

Exclusive to a small number of schools in Victoria and Tasmania, our goal is to measure if it will be successful to release to all schools in our program who qualify.

How it works

Active Rewards will be available to all school who qualify and is free to schools a part of the Ride2School program. Active Rewards are here to reward you and your school for committing to growing an active school culture.

Every week, if your school completes a HandsUp! count, they earn 10 loyalty points, which can be used to redeemed a number of exclusive rewards available through Term 2.

Ride2School Active Rewards (by invitation only): Terms and Conditions

Getting teenage girls active #MindBodyPedal

24 March 2016

Bicycle Network is excited to announce a new initiative by Ride2School, Mind.Body.Pedal, a series of free one-day events tailored to combat inactivity in teenage girls and empower them to become physically active.

The program will empower girls and make it easier for them to get on a bike while also addressing self-esteem and body issues. Each session has been professionally developed with the assistance of external partners.

We're inviting your school to take part and support us in helping young females to get active. 

Over the past 40 years, the number of young people who are physically active everyday has dropped and today levels of physical activity are at an all-time low.

The decline in physical activity is starting earlier and is far more dramatic during secondary school, most notably with teenage girls; a time when patterns of activity in adulthood are established.

Research reveals, only one in ten adolescences are physically active, with teenage girls twice as inactive when compared to males in the same age bracket. Mind.Body.Pedal is the first step to reversing this trend.

For more information on how your school can take part, contact us today.

Ride2School Awards - Round One Winners

20 November 2015.

 

With the support of the Victorian State Government and Minster for Sport Hon. John Eren, we are proud to announce 20 Victorian schools have successfully received funding from the first round of the Ride2School Awards for 2015 / 2016.

We'd like to say thank you to everyone who put in a application. We received an incredibly high number of quality applications and it made for a difficult decision process.

  • Maiden Gully Primary School 
  • Roxburgh Rise Primary School
  • Camp Hill Primary School
  • Coral Park Primary School
  • Orbost Primary School
  • Burwood East Primary School
  • Epsom Primary School
  • Norris Bank Primary School
  • Mount View Primary School
  • Cudgee Primary School
  • Middle Kinglake Primary School
  • Lysterfield Ps
  • Collingwood English Language School
  • Bellbridge Primary School
  • Koorlong Primary School
  • Yarraman Oaks Primary School
  • Malmsbury Primary School
  • Mildura West Primary School
  • Kororoit Creek

Ride2School funding secured

3 November 2015.

The Victorian Government has confirmed that it will fund the Ride2School program for the next four years.

Minister for Sport, John Eren, announced the $2.8 million decision last week. The government had previously indicated an intention to expand the program, and Bicycle Network continues to work with the government to develop those plans.

The announcement was made at Bellbridge Primary School at Hoppers Crossing, one of 19 across the state awarded a share of $50,000 for projects that support daily active travel.

Schools like Bellbridge Primary School will receive up to $5000 for bike sheds, bike parking or to build ActivePaths, so students can ride safely to school. 

It means more kids are learning valuable bike safety, and more Victorians are living healthier lives, Mr Eren said.

Bicycle Network’s Ride2School Program shows Victorian kids there’s no commute quite like an active one, and the Labor Government is ensuring the popular program continues.

Only a fifth of Victorian students walk or cycle to school each day, but schools participating in the Ride2School Program have more than double the national average of kids incorporating exercise into their daily commute. They’re improving their confidence, their socialisation skills and their concentration levels at school.

“The Ride2School Program plays a key role keeping Victorian students healthy and happy and ready for a big day at school. We’re extending it, so that more kids can enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle,” Mr Eren said.

“By incorporating exercise in their daily commute, kids are enjoying the great outdoors and learning healthy habits for later on in life.”

“Our kids are our future, so we need to give them every opportunity they deserve. We’re helping to ensure Victorian students learn important bike safety skills and improve their health and wellbeing.”

Ride2School Awards - Round One

6 October 2015

We'd like to thank all the schools who made the effort to apply for Round One of the awards. Due to the number of award applications received, the official announcement of the awards will take place at the end of October. We apologies for keeping you waiting, but we promise it will be well worth the wait.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Remember to keep an eye out later this month for an announcement.

Port Sorell rolls to success

16 June 2015

When the Tasmanian Government announced its funding for the Ride2School program last week, local media had the perfect go-to school. 

The grounds of Port Sorell Primary School is full of bikes, and busy bike paths before and after school are now just part of the scenery in what is one of Tasmania’s fastest growing towns. 

It’s an excellent example of forward planning where the school planners and the community combined to see the benefits of active transport. 

There is now two bike parking spaces at the school for every five of the 300 students and a network of footpaths and cycleways in the town, on the Rubicon Estury in the north of the State.

Before the school was built more than 260 primary school aged students had to travel at least 10 kms a day, twice a day, to attend school.  
 
One of the significant arguments in favour of building the school, as noted in the Tasmanian Parliament’s  Joint Standing Committee on Community Development report on the proposal in 2009, was that ‘’a primary school built within the Port Sorell township would allow these students to walk or ride bikes to school, easing traffic congestion, minimising travelling time, boosting public health and decreasing air pollution and carbon emissions’’. 

While the school was being built – it opened in 2013 with 243 students – the community, the Education Department and the Latrobe Council set about planning ways to make riding, walking or scootering to school, safe, easy and fun. 

A cycle and bikepath committee was formed and did extensive community consultation and audits on walking and cycling routes.  

As a result the connections between paths was improved, the standard of road crossing lifted, and signage installed to mark the routes. And as the town grows the Latrobe Council ensures paths and cycleways extend those connections to the school and to major community meeting points. 

Bike racks were also installed at key recreational facilities to encourage children to ride to school and after-school activities. 

Today most students make their way to school independently and the school newsletter regularly reminds students and families of the benefits of cycling, walking and scootering to school.

West Coast shows the way

5 May 2015. They’re a hardy bunch at Strahan on Tasmania’s West Coast.  

At 8.30 am last Thursday, there they were in shorts and short-sleeved shorts, just itching to go.

Admittedly there were a few fleecy jackets, and parents were rugged up in scarves and puffer jackets but just about every member of the 60-strong primary school population was lightly dressed in anticipation of a good warm-up before class.

It was a brilliant turnout for the first Bicycle Network Ride2School program in a Tasmanian school and, notwithstanding the early-morning chill, Strahan put on its best sunny face.

It was once a tough mining port and fishing village and while fishing and aquaculture has given it new life, it is tourism that has really put it on the map.

Rail has left a tourism legacy as well – the historic ABT tourist railway which runs from Strahan to Queenstown and the old rail formation that runs from Regatta Point across the bay to the heart of the village that is now a high-grade shared pathway. 

That was one of the three routes to school, all of them marked with on-path stickers to guide the students.

Principal Monicka Lee was effusive in her praise of the program. As she said, one moment the school yard was empty then she turned to see bikes and scooters pouring through the gates, closely followed by walkers – both students and parents. She also admitted that the bike she has stored at home will need to be given more track time.

The Bicycle Network team worked with the school to establish part-way drop-off starting points marked with flags which were communicated through an engaging map. This was complemented by ACTIVEpaths decal stickers marking the routes to school, along with ‘STOP,LOOK,LISTEN,THINK’ reminders at decision points.

This helped students and families use the maps, showed the best places to cross the road, and helpful hints on how to do this safely.

There was extra help in that regard at one crossing point. The local police constable made sure everyone was safe crossing the Esplanade.

All this was backed up back at the school—after a healthy breakfast in the canteen—by a quick classroom lesson.

Bicycle Network’s Jeff McPhan and Veronica Nunez, who organised the event in collaboration with the school’s enthusiastic business manager Bek van der Neut, gave a presentation on bike safety. 

Facing 60 primary school students, from prep to grade 6, sitting on a classroom floor for 30 minutes is one tough gig. But there was hardly a bored wriggle in the room.

The school will record each day those students who continue to ride, scooter or walk to school and there is a class trophy up for grabs.

Bicycle Network and the school had two key partners in the enterprise: the motoring organisation RACT and the West Coast Council.

There are two reasons for RACT’s involvement: its traditional priority to ensure roads are a safe environment for children and motorists, and its significant investment in tourism in Strahan since buying the Federal Group’s assets in the town.

Ride2School takes strides in Strahan

23 April 2015. Lucky students at Strahan Primary School on Tasmania's west coast have been chosen to participate in a Ride2School pilot project aimed at encouraging them to bike, walk or scoot to school each day.

The initiative, to be launched next Thursday (30 April), is a partnership between Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program, the  Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania (RACT) and Strahan Primary School.

The active travel trial will help students get their recommended dose of daily physical activity, and educate school communities on road safety for bike riders.

As part of the initiative, Ride2School’s ACTIVEmaps and footpath markers are being used to show the most direct way to Strahan Primary School.

Workshops will also be held educate students (and their parents) on good bike riding habits and road safety.

RACT community engagement and education manager Kathy Stocks said the RACT had been working with the Bicycle Network to develop and deliver the program for primary schools around Tasmania.

“Delivering messages to primary school aged children is a big priority for the RACT and it helps ensure our roads are a safe environment for children and motorists alike,” Ms Stocks said.

“We use footpath signage to help students and families use the maps, showing them the best places to cross the road and providing helpful hints on how to do this safely,” she said.

Bicycle Network’s General Manager of Behaviour Change Gemma McCrohan said encouraging students to actively travel to school boosts independence in a supportive environment and is a crucial part of their development.

“Students who ride or walk to school arrive energised, alert and more ready to learn than those who don’t,” Ms McCrohan said.

Strahan Primary School Principal Monicka Lee said students were excited about being the first school to be part of the Ride2School initiative.

“The students at Strahan Primary School are really excited to be working with the Ride2School team and are privileged to have the support of RACT and the West Coast Council on this fantastic initiative,” Ms Lee said.

The Ride2School initiative also has the support of West Coast Council. Mayor Phil Vickers said the pilot project was a “great idea.”

“To encourage students to ride or walk to school and to do it safely by following placed markers is great for bicycle safety and healthy for the children. The council at its last meeting resolved that the General Manager liaise with both parties to implement the program,” Mr Vickers said.

School’s back, so be careful out there

29 January 2015

Schools resume this week around Australia so drivers need to be extra careful on the streets and around schools, particularly as more and more students are keen to bike and walk to school for healthy exercise.

But at the same time that communities are trying to encourage more children to get active and ride to school, many parents are creating mayhem at the school gateway, insisting on trucking their children to school by car.

The Victorian Government has made a special plea this week for parents to calm down around schools.

According to VicRoads data, 350 people were injured—82 of them seriously—at and near schools during school hours in 2012 - the latest period analysed.

Although school zones comprise just a fraction of then state’s roads, they are among the most hazardous for road users.

It is a pointed irony that those at risk around school precincts are at risk from parents who drive their children to the school because they think that walking or riding to school is a risk.

If more children walked and rode to school, and less were driven, safety would improve.

As school has started back, the Ride2School program is gearing up for another year. Ride2School supports thousands of schools across Australia to create and maintain an active travel culture. It can help parents and schools make encouraging walking and riding to school quick and easy.

You can get all the details from the Ride2School website.

 

National Ride2School Day Awards

15 May 2014. For this years National Ride2School Day event, we offered up three very big prizes for Victorian schools, valued at $5,000 each. The prizes included, a choice of bike parking, a new bike shed, class set of bikes or BIke Ed training.  We had over 100 submissions from teachers to why there school deserved one of these prizes.  Sadly there could only be three winners. The lucky winners are;

  • Surfside Primary School
  • Templestowe Park Primary School
  • Rye Primary School

Each of these schools presented an amazing submission. Principal of Rye Primary school Mark Warner was thrilled to be one of the lucky three. Rye Primary school have worked with the Ride2School program since 2008 to encourage more students to actively travel and have seen a steady increase in the number of students riding and walking to school.

Congratulations to each of these schools, we hope to see the number of students actively travelling to your school grow. For more information on how we can support your school, contact us today.

Good2Go Success

21 April 2014. Over the April school holidays, we were a busy bunch running two Good2Go bike ed courses in the City of Port Phillip and Mitchell Shire in Seymour. Over these two course, we had over 75 students complete the course. Our Good2Go course is designed to provide each student with the knowledge and skill to become more confident on the journey to school. While the course is focused on bike riding, the knowledge gained from the course is applicable to scooting, skating and walking.

children riding bicycles

Each of the students were asked to complete a quick survey about their skill level and confidence before and after the course. After completing the course, there was a 62% increase in their general confidence and a 50% increase about their knowledge of the road rules and other users.

If you'd like to know more about the Good2Go course, contact us today.

National Ride2School Day Success

21 March 2014

We'd like to say congratulations and a BIG thank you to all the schools who took part in the eighth National Ride2School Day, Australia's largest celebration of active travel. To show our appreciation, we've made this short film about the day! Enjoy!

Find out more about National Ride2School Day.