As recognised leaders in bicycle safety education within Vancouver, LifeCycle's bicycle safety skills events (or rodeos as they were formerly known) are an interactive experience for children to learn some fundamental rules of the road, giving parents, teachers and care-givers the opportunity to stand back and be observers, with all hopefully benefiting from the learning experience. The program is best suited to Grades 1 through 5, though children above or below this range can also be accommodated. To participate in the Safety Skills event, a student must know how to ride a two wheeled bike with training wheels only if absolutely necessary. Trikes and other children's toys such as scooters are not recommended, as neither would be legally allowed on the road in 'real life'.
A bike safety skills event teaches children how to negotiate different types of road safety situations in a simulated environment free from traffic involvement. The course can be set up to introduce many features such as crossroads, driveways, corners, shoulder checks, and car door avoidance. Many of them can be found within the Bike Smarts handbook produced by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways Motor Vehicles Branch
Ordinarily, the bike safety skills event runs from 3–6 hours and takes up the space of between 3 to 4 tennis courts, though this can be reduced if necessary. This area works best if there are no obstacles within that space. The event can be run on a grassed, all weather, or paved surface, but in either case, needs to be relatively flat. No cover is required for the actual course, though the events can be run indoors too. There are no power requirements. If the event permits, we do provide 'bike music' to create an informal and fun atmosphere.
There is a requirement for 4–5 volunteers to assist with the event throughout the day. This may be spilt into 'shifts' as necessary, with all guidance and supervision carried out by LifeCycle. Training can be given during 15 minutes prior to the start.
Prior to any child starting on the course, parents are asked to sign a waiver, provided by LifeCycle, and the participant's bike and helmet is checked for safety. This safety check is carried out by a qualified technician, under cover (either a fixed structure or a pop-up tent), again provided by the operator. To encourage those children who do not own a bike, or whose bike fails the safety check, the operator will bring a small fleet of bikes and helmets of varying sizes for temporary 'loan'.
As certified Canbike II staff, we provide:
The cost of a Bike Safety Skills event will vary according to site/event particulars, but start at $450 per day including all props and one instructor. LifeCycle also offer bike safety skills training as a six week program of one hourly classes. Please call 604 837 5943 for details or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LifeCycle's patented "TowBug" is also available for rent to those schools wishing to run their own bike safety event. This is a converted Volkswagen Beetle loaded with all the necessary props and bikes you'll want for a fun and informative day. All you need is a vehicle capable of hauling the TowBug, some instructional information that we can provide, insurance to cover loss or damage, and a sense of fun. Please call early, because during the 'Safety season', the TowBug is used regularly, and in the winter months the trailer gets moved south to warmer climes!