Students gear up for cycling safety

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With summer quickly approaching, some elementary school students in Windsor-Essex are about to get the knowledge they need to bike safely.

Bike Windsor Essex is launching a pilot program, which will take place over the next two weeks at three public schools under the Greater Essex County District School Board. The program is geared towards students from Grades 4-7. Officials with the organization will teach the students about basic bike maintenance, how to balance on a bike, rules of the road, and hand signals.

Bike Windsor Essex will travel from school to school with bikes, using a borrowed trailer. The organization is looking to eventually be able to buy their own truck to haul the bikes around.

However, it took a lot of funding to launch this program. Lori Newton, executive director of Bike Windsor Essex, said the organization received a $25,000 grant from the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation, which was used to buy 30 youth bikes and helmets.

“This is a long time dream realized,” said Newton in a statement. “Every child should be taught how to ride a bike safely and it makes sense to do it in the schools so every child has the opportunity to learn.”

According to the organization, cycling not only improves a child’s fitness level, but it improves their learning development and mental health.

Bike Windsor Essex will be at Dr. David Suzuki Public School from Monday to Wednesday, at Amherstburg Public School from Thursday to Friday, and at Giles Campus from June 24-26.

Students who miss the pilot program or don’t attend one of the specified schools will have other opportunities to learn about bike safety. Bike Windsor Essex will hold several Children’s Bike Safety Rodeos throughout the summer. The organization also provides safety classes and bike maintenance classes for adults. Furthers details can be found on their website.