How to Teach Bike Safety to Young People

WABA teaches thousands of youth how to ride and how to ride safely each year. Learn the secrets from our Family and Youth Education Coordinator, Jeff Wetzel.

Register on Zoom

We will cover a range of topics such as bike rodeos, skill courses, and bike trains, how to tech specific handling skills, how to manage riding with a group of kids on the road or a trail, and planning and logistics.

Bring your interest and questions – and get ready to bring fun and safety to your community groups, church groups, after school clubs, or the awesomest birthday party ever!

If this date doesn’t work for you, we are also offering this on July 2nd from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.

How to Teach Bike Safety to Young People

WABA teaches thousands of youth how to ride and how to ride safely each year. Learn the secrets from our Family and Youth Education Coordinator, Jeff Wetzel.

Register on Zoom

We will cover a range of topics such as bike rodeos, skill courses, and bike trains, how to tech specific handling skills, how to manage riding with a group of kids on the road or a trail, and planning and logistics.

Bring your interest and questions – and get ready to bring fun and safety to your community groups, church groups, after school clubs, or the awesomest birthday party ever!

If this date doesn’t work for you, we are also offering this on July 10th from 2:30 to 4:00 PM.

Bike Summer Break!

Summer is here! Make sure you and your child have everything you need to experience the joy of bicycling safely: WABA’s online youth bicycle education class will teach your child the basics of bicycling, including helmet fit, safety, and where and how to ride their bicycle.

Register Now

WABA has provided youth bicycle education at public and charter schools across the region for more than 10 years. To make sure no one misses out while most of us are stuck at home, we’ve created this free video series for at-home, self-paced learning.

What we’ll be learning

This fun online course is the same bicycle safety education that WABA provides at DC Public Charter Schools. During our online class we will cover:

  • Getting Started—helmet fit and basic safety check 
  • Starting and Stopping
  • Where to Ride
  • Hand signals
  • Shifting

Who is this for?

The structure and pacing of these videos is designed for youth in grades 2-8, but the content is useful for everyone.

Registration

If you are already using Google Classrooms as for learning at home, you can find this entire course in that format at using the class code: ep76454. How to set up Google Classrooms

Setting Up Google Classroom

First navigate to classroom.google.com
Click the plus button in the top right corner and click “join class”
Enter course code ep76454

You can also view the course directly on YouTube. Each video has a short quiz linked in the description.

Watch on youtube.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who’s teaching this class?

Jeff Wetzel, WABA’s Youth and Family Education Coordinator, is the instructor for this class. Jeff has over 10 years of youth development experience in three countries, including at DC Public Schools. Since 2016, Jeff has been responsible for WABA’s youth and family programs, including in-school education and after school bike clubs at DCPS and DC Public Charter Schools, youth learn to ride classes and parent and child classes across the Washington region, and our annual Bike Camp! He is a certified League Cycling Instructor. 

How long is the class?

All of the lessons are available at once on Google Classrooms. Parents and guardians can determine the pace of the classes alongside their child. They can zoom through all the modules in about half a day, or split it up into short 10-20 minute lessons per module. We recommend going outside to practice some of the skills taught in the class. Make sure you check our guide on how to safely bike during COVID-19

This is great – how do I share with my school?

We are also partnering with DC Schools to provide this course as part of their online programming. If you think your school would be interested, you or a school teacher or administrator can send us an email at youth@waba.org

How do I set up Google Classrooms?

If you are using a computer, go to classroom.google.com to sign in. Once you have set up a student account, you’ll need to join WABA’s class using the code ep76454. You can also use a tablet or phone by downloading the Google Classroom app from the Apple App Store or from the Google Play Store. If you are having issues, please read the Google Classroom pages on How to Sign In and How to Join the Class as a Student. You can also email us at youth@waba.org and we are happy to help out. 

What personal information will you need?

We will only ask for your child’s first name, grade, and the DC school they attend. You can set up Google Classrooms using your email or your child’s email. 

This is great – how much does it cost?

The class is free and brought to you thanks to the generous support of the DC Department of Transportation.

We’re Hiring: Bike Camp! 2018 Camp Counselors

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks two Camp Counselors and one Lead Camp Counselor with a love of riding bikes, experience with youth, and exuberance to spare for our 2018 summer Bike Camp!

Positions Overview

WABA’s Bike Camp! consists of four one-week sessions for kids to ride, explore, build, and have fun! Our Bike Camp! Counselor team will keep things running smoothly, help the campers ride and work together as a team, build rapport and community, and make this summer one to remember. During training, Counselors will be taken through a thorough ride-safety course to learn the ins-and-outs of leading and supporting youths on bikes. Further training will include: security and safety procedures, emergency planning and management, behavior management, food and health safety, team training, and more. The Counselor team will be the primary staff responsible for the day-to-day operations of Bike Camp! and will report to our Camp Director, Jeff Wetzel. These are temporary, seasonal, full-time positions (40 hours/week). The season runs from Wednesday, June 13th to Monday, July 16th. There will be no camp on the 4th of July. Hourly rate: $15 per hour for Camp Counselor positions, $17 per hour for the Lead Counselor position

Responsibilities

Camp Counselors:
  • Ensure the safety, well-being and health of Bike Campers (ages 8-14).
  • Lead and/or support bike rides ranging from 1 mile to 15 miles in length in summer weather.
  • Organize group activities and team-building exercises.
  • Provide engagement, humor, and positive spirits as a role model for the Campers.
  • Evaluate and provide feedback on Bike Camp! afterwords.
Lead Counselor:
  • All of the above, plus:
  • With the Camp Director, plan safe routes for bike rides and adapt to changing on-road conditions.
  • Provide detailed daily reports of Camp Activities with input from the Camp Counselors, including incident/injury reports.
  • Act as the primary point of contact on-site for activity/program partners.

Qualifications

Camp Counselors:
  • 0-2 years experience working with youth, preferably in a summer camp environment or similar.
  • Must be able to provide a working bike and helmet.
  • Must be able to ride a bike in city traffic with competence and confidence enough to pay attention to the actions and well-being of other riders.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate safe biking practices.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • High school diploma or equivalent strongly preferred.
Lead Counselor:
  • All of the above, plus:
  • Group bike riding and/or ride leader experience preferred.
  • Staff supervision experience preferred.
  • Must be CPR and First Aid certified, or willing to obtain a certification prior to camp.

About WABA

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is working to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling. WABA’s programs, from youth education to grassroots community organizing, engage residents in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC. Six thousand dues-paying members and thousands more generous supporters have helped WABA transform bicycling in the region again and again over its 46 year history. WABA is building a region where, in 2020, we’ll see three times the number of people riding bikes. And, by 2035, every single person will live within one mile of a dedicated safe place to bike. We envision a region in which biking is joyful, safe, popular, and liberating; supported by the necessary infrastructure, laws, activities, and investments; and where bicycle ridership mirrors the incredible diversity of our communities.

Employment

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

How to Apply

Please submit a one-page resume and briefly answer the following questions:
  • How you meet the qualifications listed above
  • What makes you a great Bike Camp! Counselor
  • A positive experience you had while working with youth
Send application materials to jobs@waba.org and include “Bike Camp Counselor” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

Bike Camp is back!

Bike Camp! is back and bigger than ever! We are excited to offer four sessions this year:

City Explorer’s Camp Sessions:

  • 8-11 year olds | June 18-22
  • 12-14 year olds | July 2-6 *No camp July 4
City Explorers Camp will focus on building bike comfort and skills, route creation, group riding, and longer rides. Campers will ride every day (weather dependent), and as much as 20 miles per day! Campers will bike to different field trips and volunteer opportunities across the city. This camp will include basic bike maintenance, such as how to fix a flat tire. This is a great camp for campers who want to see the city, visit new places, and build community. While campers outside of the age ranges will not be turned away, the activities at each session will be geared to those ages.

Bike Build Camp Sessions:

  • 8-11 year olds | June 25-29
  • 12-14 year olds | July 9-13
Bike Build Camp will focus on mechanics training and mastery of bike parts. Campers will build a bike from the frame up under the guidance of Gearin’ Up Bicycles. Campers will have the opportunity to go on multiple shorter rides during the session. This camp will include at least one hands-on visit to a local bike shop maintenance department. This is a great camp for campers who want to work with their hands, make a bike that they can keep, and explore a little too. Hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday Location: KIPP DC Shaw Campus, 421 P St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 Click here for all the details on Bike Camp!, including how to register. If you have any questions, please email bikecamp@waba.org or call 202-518-0524 x222

Strong Women of the Future

WABA’s youth education team recently spent several hours with a girls empowerment group at Capital City PCS on a cool early spring day.  We worked in a safe, paved, off road space at the school to build confidence and skills. Starting from how to properly fit and adjust a helmet, we progressed through checking the bike for basic mechanical issues to combining more advanced looking and braking skills to successfully navigate the chaos box without a crash. With increased confidence from skills development, we then went on two short rides of about two miles each out into the community.  When told how far we had gone, the group of 6th-8th graders were amazed at how far they were able to carry themselves on their bikes.  They were excited about the opportunities and freedom presented by traveling by bike and not having to rely on parents to drive them or what bus transfer they would need to take to get to a friends house. Watch for them to pedal on by headed to great things.  

Capital City PCS Young Women on Bikes

Riding with younger folks

Looking to inspire the next generation of bicyclists? Or just get the next generation of bicyclists to dance class without having to hunt for a parking space? We’ve got a number of youth and family biking events coming up, check them out!

How to Teach a Youth Learn to Ride Class

May 8, 6:00 PM WABA Offices. Have you wanted to teach your PE class or Girl Scout Troop how to ride bikes safely and confidently in the city? Come join members of WABAs education team for a two hour course on what you need to know to teach a group of young people how to ride. We will cover curriculum, common challenges, and provide you with the information you need to succeed. Join Us

Be a Bike Camp! Counselor

WABA is looking for 2 Camp Counselors and 1 Lead Camp Counselor with a love of riding bikes, experience with youth, and exuberance to spare. Apply Now And we’ve got just a few camper spots left in the July sessions of Bike Camp! July 10-14 and July 17-21 KIPP DC Shaw Campus, 421 P St NW. Skills, confidence, and the freedom of two wheels. Only two weeks in July still available, register now! Details

Bike to School Day

May 10 Your school! It’s time again for the annual Bike To School Day Competition. National Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 10th.  For the last four years, DDOT and DCPS have sponsored a competition: the school with the highest percentage of students riding to school on that day wins the coveted golden bicycle trophy to proudly display for a year. Register

Family City Cycling

Riding with kids can be a lot of fun, but it comes with some extra considerations. Join us for a City Cycling class that’s specifically focused on riding with kids! We’ll help you ride more comfortably and confidently without getting melted popsicle goop all over your brake levers. No matter your skill level, you’ll improve your abilities on two (or more) wheels. First ride in a trailer

Parent Powered Family Bicycling Class

May 7, 9:30 AM Anacostia Park 1500 Anacostia Dr. SE, Washington, DC This class is designed for parents carrying kids on a bike or in a trailer. Register here learning bike handling skills

Youth Powered Family Bicycling Class

May 27, 9:30 AM Anacostia Park 1500 Anacostia Dr. SE, Washington, DC This class is designed for parents riding with kids who are pedaling their own bikes. Register here

Work for WABA: Bike Camp! Counselor Openings

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks 2 Camp Counselors and 1 Lead Camp Counselor with a love of riding bikes, experience with youth, and exuberance to spare.

Positions Overview

WABA’s Bike Camp! is four one-week sessions for kids to ride, explore, build, and have fun! Our Bike Camp! Counselor team will keep things running smoothly, help the campers ride and work together as a team, build rapport and community, and make this summer one to remember. During training, Counselors will be taken through an intensive ride-safety course to learn the ins-and-outs of leading and supporting youths on bikes. Further training will include: security and safety procedures, emergency planning and management, behavior management, food and health safety, team training, and more. The Counselor team will be the primary staff responsible for the day-to-day operations of Bike Camp! and will report to our Camp Director, Jeff Wetzel. These are temporary, seasonal, full-time positions (40 hours/week). The season runs from Monday, June 12th to Friday, July 21st. There will be no camp the week of July 3rd, and the counselor team will not be paid for that week. Hourly rate: $15-17 per hour

Brake adjustments during Bike Build Camp

Responsibilities

Camp Counselors:
  • Ensure the safety, well-being and health of Bike Campers (ages 8-14).
  • Lead and/or support bike rides ranging from 1 mile to 15 miles in length in summer weather.
  • Organize group activities and team-building exercises.
  • Provide engagement, humor, and positive spirits as a role model for the Campers.
  • Evaluate and provide feedback on Bike Camp! afterwords.
Lead Counselor:
  • All of the above, plus:
  • With the Camp Director, plan safe routes for bike rides and adapt to changing on-road conditions.
  • Provide detailed daily reports of Camp Activities with input from the Camp Counselors, including incident/injury reports.
  • Act as the primary point of contact on-site for activity/program partners.

Qualifications

Camp Counselors:
  • 0-2 years experience working with youth, preferably in a summer camp environment or similar.
  • Must be able to provide a working bike and helmet.
  • Must be able to ride a bike with competence and confidence enough to pay attention to other riders.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate safe biking practices.
  • Some bicycle maintenance knowledge preferred.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • High school diploma or equivalent strongly preferred.
Lead Counselor:
  • All of the above, plus:
  • Group bike riding and/or ride leader experience preferred.
  • Staff supervision experience preferred.
  • Must be CPR and First Aid certified, or willing to obtain a certification prior to camp.

How to Apply

Please submit a one-page résumé and briefly answer the following questions:
  • How you meet the qualifications listed above
  • What makes you a great Bike Camp! Counselor
  • A positive experience you had while working with youth
Send to jobs@waba.org

When physical education becomes bike education

 
Youth on a bike stopped at a stop sign.

Students at Center City Public Charter School in Petworth discovered the ins and outs of bike riding during WABA’s Bike Week Takeover

Kids around DC are discovering biking indoors this winter thanks to WABA’s Bike Week “takeovers” of Physical Education classes. We recently completed at two Center City Public Charter School campuses—Brightwood and Petworth. WABA coordinated with City Center’s PE teachers to provide a full week of bike-centric education for every 2nd-8th grade PE class. Each class of students had a wide range of abilities, from those who had never sat on a bike to one tremendous 7th grader who could wheelie or track stand for days. Our curriculum is designed to help every student progress and learn, no matter where they start out. We are able to put all students on a bike by removing the pedals to turn some into balance bikes. Balance bikes work to engage students in learning to ride, without excluding them from the class. While participating, they are also starting down the path to being safe and competent riders. For those that already know how to ride, we help them improve their control and teach them specific skills like the quick stop. The curriculum includes basic traffic safety, where the students learn how to respond to traffic signals and other road users in safe, predictable, and legal manner. By the end of the week no one was saying that you had to wait for the stop sign to turn green to go!  Students also get to practice their handling skills on an indoor course that includes traffic signals and crossing bike traffic. Our youth program in DC is supported by DDOT’s Safe Routes to Schools programming, but with your membership and support we can expand to other areas. Join WABA today! If you work for or know of a public charter or private school that might be interested in hosting our program, please email youth@waba.org and let us know. Bike Week at City Center PCS by the numbers:
  • Number of schools: 2
  • Number of students: 276
  • Number of class periods taken over: 35
  • Number of student-hours ridden: 604.5
  • Number of smiles: Unlimited
 

Center City PCS Petworth PE Bike Week

Center City PCS Brightwood PE Bike Week

     

Alexandria Takes Universal Bike Education For a Spin

 
youth on bikes in PE class in Alexandria

Youth riding during PE class

In September, WABA’s Youth & Family Education team trained eight Alexandria City Public School PE teachers for their first year of teaching third graders how to ride bicycles! For the 2016-17 school year ACPS will conduct a pilot program called Bicycling in the Schools—based upon the highly successful Biking in the Park Cornerstone program in DC Public Schools. The intent of these programs is to provide universal bike training and safety education to all students.  WABA is actively advocating for programs like this across the region. Alexandria begin their program with 150 students in third grade at Mount Vernon Community School in Del Ray this fall.  It was such a hit with the teachers and students that it was immediately expanded to include all 4th and 5th graders, for 450 youth on bikes. That adds up to 120,000 student class-minutes of bike time! Wowzers! Watch for more youths and their families enjoying the fantastic off-street Potomac Yard Trail between Braddock Rd. and the Four Mile Run trail. And if your children have been a part of an in-school bike education program, we’d love to work with you to help your community support riding after the school’s program ends. Please email youth@waba.org.  
Helmets lined up as they would be for a class.

Helmets lined up as they would be for a class.