:  part of the pedestrian and bicycle information center
sitemap about us -> goes to pbic website links join email list ask us a question
  search     go to
outreach and promotion news bicycling crashes policy and planning rails and trails research and development transit image libraryinsight health and fitness education and enforcement design and engineering community problems and solutions
insight home

features & articles
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

PBIC Currents

fact sheets

find a ped/bike coordinator

ped/bike websites

who's who in the bicycling world


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 7

Second Super Hurdle: Generating Interest

  Click to see a larger version!
  This poster, which reminds us that bicycles are vehicles, features a complete checklist to use when inspecting your bicycle.
A large part of the challenge of the SuperCyclist Project is getting parents and educators to rethink cycling as a viable mode of transportation, rather than simply a form of recreation. Sure, kids ride bikes because it's fun to do, but they also ride in order to get from one place to another, whether it's a friend's house, the store down the street, or to school.

"We want to hammer in the recognition of bicycles as vehicles of transportation. When you put a ten year-old on a bicycle, they are a vehicle," Tyree emphasizes. "Adults think that simply teaching a kid how to ride is enough, the way most of us learned back in the day. They show them what to do, help them gain balance and then they're off."

Parents, teachers, and other school officials argue that only parents should teach children to ride a bike, and that to do otherwise would be a waste of tax dollars. Others assert that there's no point in teach safe cycling to schools where no one cycles, or is allowed to cycle, to school. instructed in the ways of safe cycling will grow up to be safer cyclists.

Critics like these tend to miss a crucial aim of the SuperCyclist program—that kids instructed in the ways of safe cycling will grow up to be safer motorists.

That's where safety advocates step in. When groups form local partnerships, their case becomes much stronger. The SuperCyclist project, for instance, relies on their competent, dedicated partners in the PTA, TAHPERD, and other groups to address the concerns of parents, teachers, and school officials. When a local advocate can simultaneously illustrate the health benefits of safe cycling, the longterm goals of safer driving, and speak to the specific needs of a school system, the need for a program like SuperCyclist hits closer to home.

next page, Arm Yourself With the Facts >>

  © Copyright 2001  Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center