SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL
The generous donation from the Union Pacific Foundation will allow us to expand our bicycle safety education outreach into two additional high schools. The outreach will include teaching Bicycle Friendly Driver classes, an effective program for brand new motor vehicle drivers focused on safe behavior when sharing the roadway with bicyclists. The donation will also assist Bike Fort Collins (BFC) with expanding our elementary and middle school rotation program beyond the Fort Collins city limits.
Safe Routes to School
Safe Routes to School is a nationwide effort to get more children biking and walking to school for their health, academic achievement and the environment. Our goal is to get at least 50 percent of local K–12 students biking or walking to school on a regular basis.
The 2018 season recorded these statistics:
7,456 — # of K-12 students educated about bike-ped safety by SRTS team during school
2,486 — # of students K-12 reached outside of PE (bike clubs or extra programs)
3,570 — # of students’ bikes checked for safety and adjusted by trained mechanics
1,204 — # of parents and other volunteers who assisted SRTS instructors
34,270— # of total miles biked by K-8 students during SRTS educational programming
From training wheels to graduation
We believe in cultivating good bicycling habits with young riders. Education leads to a lifetime of enjoying the benefits of cycling. Bike Fort Collins works with the City of Fort Collins, and has joined thousands of communities nationwide in presenting Safe Routes to School (SRTS) activities. SRTS helps youth find smart ways to bike or walk to school. Our whole community benefits from reduced traffic, better air quality and healthier lifestyles. Perhaps best of all, children arrive at school energized and ready to learn.
Classes offered through SRTS, improvements to sidewalks and bike lands, and enforcement of school zone speed limits make walking and bicycling a practical and enjoyable choice for K-12 students and their parents alike.
How does Safe Routes to School work?
Each year, our Safe Routes to School program educates over 7,000 youth in the Poudre School District. Through a dedicated school rotation schedule, each student that goes through the Poudre School District will get educated about how to bike and walk to school safely.
Elementary students are taught basic bike safety, and bike handling skills (varying on ability). Students are also taught how to ride if they are currently unable. We offer free bike helmets to students to use, if they don’t have their own. And, all bikes are tuned up by a qualified mechanic at the beginning of a school’s rotation to ensure that all bikes are operating safely and properly. If a student’s bike is deemed unfit to ride during a tune up, we will provide them a bike so they can still participate.
Middle school students are taught the rules of the road and taken out on a guided bike ride through the city and trail system. Middle school students are also able to use bikes and helmets at no charge during the sessions. Students in 4th and 5th grade are also taken on bike field trips to explore other parts of Fort Collins by bike.
Want to learn more about our SRTS programming? Watch below!
Other Safe Routes to School Programming:
Bike Clubs: Want your child to get even more involved with biking? Have them join our FREE After School Bike Clubs. Bike Clubs, funded thanks to the FoCo Fondo Race held every August, take youth of all abilities and ages on rides after school, and also supply additional bike skills and education.
We are hoping to offer more Bike Clubs in more schools in 2019, but will need YOUR help. Donate today to help us reach more youth.
Walking Clubs: Held at Putnum Elementary (currently), Walking Club takes 4th and 5th graders on walking adventures after-school. This club is grant-funded and helps students explore in a safe environment.
Family Rodeos: Thanks to funding from Kaiser Permanente, our SRTS Instructors and volunteers have been able to hold family rodeos, ice cream socials and rides for residents of La Cocina and the Poudre Family Mobile Home Park.
Bike Camp - Summer 2019: In July this past summer, through the support of a grant from Kaiser Permanente, BFC hosted a Bike Camp for kids from local mobile home parks in northern Fort Collins. It was a 2-week, all-day (M-Th) camp where the kids were exposed to all kinds of activities, but all via their bikes. Watch below to see a recap of their experience.
Want to become an SRTS Instructor?
The BFC SRTS team is a great group of bike enthusiasts who enjoy sharing their love of cycling with young people. We work with K- 5th grade elementary; 6th grade middle school; and Adventure PE in the high schools as well as lead bike field trips, after-school bike clubs, and other community events.
Individuals interested in becoming a SRTS instructor:
1 - Please contact the SRTS Instructional Coordinator, Rose Samaniego via email at SRTS@bikefortcollins.org.
2 - Register as a volunteer with the Poudre School District
3 - Plan to attend both Smart Cycling classes taught by the City:
Smart Cycling – Road Rules
Smart Cycling – Road Skills
See Calendar for next scheduled class(es)
4 – Attend a SRTS Instructor class taught by BFC. Schedule this through the SRTS Instructional Coordinator, Rose Samaniego via email at SRTS@bikefortcollins.org.
5 – Take part in 20 hours of volunteer training at scheduled SRTS events to get a feel for how things are done
Note: You can begin volunteering while working through the above classes. Volunteer hours may be scheduled through the SRTS Instructional Coordinator.
Don't want to be an instructor but want to get more involved?
- Email the SRTS Instructional Coordinator, Rose Samaniego (via email at SRTS@bikefortcollins.org) if you're interested in volunteering
- Use your power as a citizen to advocate for more, and safer, walking and biking programs, bike lanes, and multi-use trails, including speaking up at you neighborhood school and at City Council
- Host a family Bike Rodeo at your school. Our Bike Rodeo courses can be set up in a parking lot or similar space to teach bike safety skills
- Organize “Bike Trains” and “Walking School Buses” for the children in your neighborhood or at your school
- Donate funds to help us provide safe routes in more schools, as well as purchase helmets to give to students and their parents