Martin Middle School After-School Bike Program (SPRING)
Start Date: 2011-04-06
End Date: 2011-05-25
As Fulmore was deemed manageable and proved to be well attended, we began a second pilot program by adding a weekly after-school class at Martin Middle School in East Austin. Like Fulmore, Martin also had an in-house fleet of eight 20″ BMX bikes available to students within the after-school program. The previous program had stopped in 2010 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. The school being adjacent to Lady Bird Lake trail and the class lasting 30min longer than the same class at Fulmore enabled longer distance riding at a more continuous pace without the interruption of street signs or traffic. A number of on road skills and signals rides were successfully completed near the during the semester on the streets leading to the hike and bike trail and within the surrounding neighborhood.