Bike Clubs typically take the form of a semester-long, after-school program and may continue on a long-term basis. For example, we have been providing a Bike Club at Martin Middle School two to three times a week for over 3 years. The classes can occur anywhere from one to five times a week and typically last from one to three hours in length. When provided through a school or organization such as the Boys and Girls Club, Bike Clubs are typically offered as part of after-school programming, though some schools offer them during the school day as elective programming.
The classes consist of a mix of riding, safety, and bicycle maintenance skills. Navigation and exploration are key focuses of the classes.
Cycling is one of the few activities that bridges exercise and transportation, and for someone under 16 years old, the only quick way to get somewhere independently other than a bus or other public transportation. For short trips, bikes are the fastest mode of available transportation. Bicycles enable students to explore their communities, visit their friends, parks, pools, or the soccer field without needing an adult to help them. The level of cycling education offered through Bike Clubs is important so that riders know how to map a safe route, do basic maintenance on their bike, ride as and in a group, and much more.
Bike Club instructors ride with the students, many times to destinations of their choosing, so they understand how to ride independently when they are not there to assist them.
A basic syllabus is developed for each club based on the length of each class and the number of classes in each session. The syllabus utilizes the Cycle Academy system for pacing, structure, and content. Special requests for specific material can be taken into account to create custom programming.