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Education is the Best Advocacy
: Focus on the Texas SuperCyclist Project
: Getting SuperCyclist Started
: Nuts and Spokes: How It All Works
: Knowing Your Age
: Keeping Your Head on Straight — Teaching Helmet Safety
: SuperCyclists, Super Challenges: The First Hurdle
: Second Super Hurdle: Generating Interest
: Arm Yourself With the Facts
: Keeping It All in Stride

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Resources for this article:

Texas Bicycling Coalition

Texas SuperCyclist Project

From A to Z by Bike: the Comprehensive Guide to Safe Bicycling for Kids and Adults
Available from AMC Media Corporation, Box 33852, Station D, Vancouver, BC V6J 4L6. A brief pamphlet for non-cycling teachers or adults who want to educate young cyclists.

Effective Cycling
by John Forester, 6th Edition. Available from MIT Press.

Bike Safety materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Education is the Best Advocacy:
Focus on the Texas SuperCyclist Project

By Rebecca Johnson
page 4

Knowing Your Age

  Age needs to be considered when teaching bicycle skills to children.
In putting together the SuperCyclist project, Tyree and his colleagues soon found that they needed to retool their program according to the age of the targeted cyclists. "We tried the same curriculum with second and third graders, and although it works in the classroom and the kids are really enthusiastic and responsive, as soon as they get out of school, they forget everything you've taught them," Tyree says, adding that children under the age of 10 generally don't judge closing speeds well.

Younger kids tend to get distracted easily, and are more apt to want to ride around and simply have fun and look at everything around them. Because younger children do not have the cognitive ability to handle complex traffic situations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that kids under the age of 10 ride only on sidewalks and not on roads.

Although Tyree concedes that some 4th graders may be under the age of 10, most of the SuperCyclist students fall under the 10-11 age range. And eventually, he says, TBC hopes to expand the SuperCyclist Project's offerings to include a mountain biking program targeting 6th-8th graders, and an "expanded bike rodeo" for kids in grades K-3, drawing on community involvement from groups like the PTA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and others.

next page, Keeping Your Head on Straight—
                  Teaching Helmet Safety >>

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