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Students in B.C. gear up to enhance cycling skills

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:09 PDT, Mon April 8, 2024

Elementary school students throughout British Columbia will be safer cyclists after taking part in the fifth year of the Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program.

This program encourages kids throughout the province to try active transportation options in safe and organized environments.

Students in the Capital Region, Metro Vancouver, Kelowna, West Kootenays, Fraser Valley, Powell River, Campbell River and Prince George are learning basic biking skills and helmet safety. The program includes hands-on activities such as stopping, hand signals and understanding road signs. Bikes and helmets are provided, and there are adaptive options for children with disabilities.

The Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program was created by HUB Cycling, a non-profit organization with a 25-year history of breaking down barriers to cycling. With support from the province, the program encourages healthy habits, environmental consideration and safety through cycling education.

“Riding a bike is a childhood pastime and learning to ride safely will give kids the opportunity to become lifelong cyclists and open the door to healthier and cleaner choices,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “Building the foundational skills to ride a bike safely steers our community towards a future less reliant on cars.”  

More than 33,000 children have participated on bikes, in class and in online learning since the program began. This program gives students the opportunity to develop skills that can be used on the many new active-transportation infrastructure projects in communities throughout the province.

“Cycling education in schools helps encourage more kids, teachers and families choose an accessible way to improve health and fight climate change,” said Rose Gardner, director of bike education at HUB Cycling. “We’re so excited to see this program expanding into Chilliwack and Abbotsford, as well as into Powell River and Campbell River. This expansion will offer as many as 15,000 students in as many as 40 municipalities the joy and freedom of riding a bicycle this school year.”

The B.C. government has invested more than $2 million in the Everyone Rides Grade 4-5 program since 2019.

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