Fulmore Middle School After-School Bike Program (SPRING)
Start Date: 2011-02-01
End Date: 2011-05-24
The initial project undertaken to determine the feasibility and overall interest in providing an after-school cycling program to middle schools within the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Fulmore was chosen due to already owning a fleet of ten 20″ BMX bikes available to students within the after-school program. The previous program had stopped in 2009 due to lack of instructor availability.
The program’s aim was to encourage middle school students to ride bicycles more often by developing the skills and confidence to ride safely in multiple environments. The basic program structure consisted of an initial progressing bike maintenance component covering basic common issues followed by a group ride. The maintenance section was geared to instill an easily remembered pattern of basic checks through a simple acronym and repetition at the start of each class period. During the semester how to fix the various issues that could be detected by the basic check were covered and reviewed. Due to the location of Fulmore (at the top of a hill on South Lamar) and the difficulty of accessing protected off campus riding areas, much of the riding and handling skills sessions took place on the adjacent running track. A number of on road skills and signals rides were successfully completed near the end of the semester once the class had progressed.
In addition to developing a core 6-8 students who regularly attended class, two of these students learned to ride a bicycle for the first time during the semester.
Helmets were provided to the students, for them to keep, by the Austin Cycling Association (ACA).