Due to the increased number of accidents between students on bikes and cars, the Physical Education department introduced lessons on how to ride a bike to freshmen and sophomore students.
Concerns rose about the frequent accidents between students riding their bikes and cars at school, so Principal Blaine Torpey decided to have the P.E. department teach students how to ride their bikes safely.
Last year, Torpey and the P.E. department discussed the problem of the accidents and presented the idea of teaching students how to ride bikes to the district. The district agreed, and if the P.E. department wanted to teach the unit, district-hired teachers would visit the school and provide bikes, as well as teach the unit. While the P.E. teachers supervise the lesson, the students put on their helmets and ride their bikes safely around a designed course at school.
At first, students were reluctant to put on a helmet and do something that they already knew how to do. During daily drills, the students ride around cones and straight through different paths. However, after a week of having the bikes, students wanted to continue the unit.
Students also take bike rides to farther places to use their newfound bike-riding skills in the outside world, going as far as Lake Chabot.
“Everyone knew how to ride a bike, but the bike unit taught us how to signal left and right. We even took the bikes out to Lake Chabot,” said sophomore Erica Eisenman. “The trip was really fun, and we used what we learned from the lesson out on the streets and on the way there.”
The purpose of teaching students how to ride their bikes safely is to prepare those who ride their bikes to school to be more safe and aware of their surroundings. The process of learning how to ride a bike is like learning how to drive for the first time.
“In the process of getting your license, you first start off with a lesson. Once you learn how to drive safely, you can drive out and test your skills. It’s kind of like teaching the students how to ride their bikes. Once they learn how to signal and share the road, they can maneuver around safely,” said P.E. teacher Marie Gray.
To the students and the P.E. teachers, the bikes unit is very enjoyable to learn and teach. Students are very knowledgeable when it comes to sports, but some students didn’t even know how to ride a bike. The P.E. teachers feel like the students are learning a skill that is valuable to their lives.
“At first when we were first handed out permission slips about riding the bikes, my classmates were worried that the lesson would be boring and that our trip would be here at school. But when Mr. Williams started talking about it and when we started learning it, the unit was really fun and everyone loved it,” said Eisenman.