Safe & Secure: Bike safety part of school curriculum in Atascade - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Safe & Secure: Bike safety part of school curriculum in Atascadero

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Riding bikes to and from school or just around the neighborhood can give kids a feeling of freedom, but it comes with risk and responsibility.

Atascadero Unified School District's superintendent recognized this and started to implement bike safety into the school curriculum.

Students are now learning how to ride bikes in the real world in the safety of their school playground.

"There's a little up ramp that we go around and then come down to the course and switch off boys and girls," fourth-grader Halle explained as she pointed to the course.

San Gabriel Elementary is one of three schools in Atascadero USD now teaching kids the dos and the don'ts of the roads and giving them more confidence to ride in stride.

"{Teaching them} how to properly go through a roundabout. We got some children learning how to ride a bike for the first time," said physical education teacher Tanya Degnan. "Overall just a safer environment for the kids so they know how to get to school and even on the weekends and when they're just hanging out at their house."

Kidshealth.org reports more than 300,000 kids end up in emergency rooms nationwide with bike injuries every year. School officials hope to prevent some of those hospital trips by teaching them safety at school, and when kids are at home, Degnan has these three important tips for parents:

  • Always wear helmets
  • Always ensure the bike is in good working condition before each ride
  • Always practice road safety yourself

"When their parents are riding, they ride on the right side of the road so children understand which side of the road they're supposed to be riding," said Degnan.

And for those kids just getting the hang of it, Halle has these parting words: "Keep the bike straight and just believe in yourself."

The district superintendent said K-Man Cyclery partnered with the district and donated bikes for the classes.

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