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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 6

SuperCyclists, Super Challenges: The First Hurdle

As with most large-scale undertakings, the initial obstacle to getting things underway is financial. True, education programs of this scale can be costly.

The good news is, that thanks to legislation like TEA-21, federal and state highway safety funds are available for projects like SuperCyclist. Moreover, local governments are often willing to budget in cycling safety programs as they would any other public service. Service groups (such as Rotary or Scout organizations) and health associations contribute their financial support as well. And the role of the general public is ever-important: for many years, the Texas Bicycle Coalition was completely supported by volunteers, who have contributed time, money, or both. It's thanks to these volunteers that projects like SuperCyclists got off the ground in the first place.

"Get people who have a
background in industry, go electronic,
and write lots of grants."

Preston Tyree is pragmatic when asked to give advice to start-up safety programs and coalitions. "Get people who have a background in industry, go electronic, and write lots of grants." SuperCyclist is nothing if not a winning combination of business knowhow (Cummins and Tyree are both veterans of the corporate world), public outreach (they've won many awards for their graphics and pamphlet illustrations), and grassroots financing.

But what if your program's pockets are still empty? Maybe it's time to re-tailor your project to best fit your target population and what you can realistically and successfully accomplish.

For example, the Bike Ed-Hawaii program has a generous budget which allows them to provide bicycles for their on-bike training component. The total cost is estimated at $30 to $40 per child. "In a state like Hawaii, that's feasible. But with the population of Texas, the total bill would come to $9 million!" Preston Tyree says.

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