Bike Smart Publications & Resources
Looking for resources to supplement the Youth Bike Skills training program that you are running? We have a wide range of useful materials to help you with your program.
Looking for more information about your upcoming loan? We've got you covered.
Bike Smart Curriculum: Need a copy of the Bike Smart Curriculum? This is the in-field guide that we provide to schools upon their loan. This curriculum is specifically designed for children in grades 3-8, but many of the lessons are useful for teaching younger and older children.
Bikeology Part 1 and Part 2 Bikeology is a curriculum designed for middle and high-school aged students. This is an extremely in-depth curriculum, with worksheets, quizzes, and exhaustive background material, useful for teachers who want to deepen their own understanding of bicycles, safety, and activities.
How to Teach Children How to Ride Using a Balance Bike: Wondering what those pedal-less bikes in the trailer are for? Or, just want some pointers on how to teach children how to ride using the bikes? This is a great resource for learning how the process works.
Bike Smart Trailer Manual: This manual contains everything you would need to know about the trailer, the bikes, and the materials inside the trailer. Wondering which helmets are loaner helmets, and which are a giveaway? Or, how to re-pack the bikes after you're done with your loan? Perhaps you were wondering what the surgical caps are for. The answers to these questions and more are inside this manual.
Trailer Relocation Form: Planning on moving the trailer yourself? Perhaps you have a great off-site field trip planned, or you are working with a partner school or organization to share the trailer. You'll need to fill out one of these before you move the trailer. NOTE: You are NOT responsible for the initial delivery or pick up. We will take care of that. This form is only needed if you plan to move the trailer during your loan.
Bike Smart Loan Checklist: Want to make sure that you're on the ball with your Bike Smart trailer loan? This handy checklist will help you make sure that you have the trailer all set to rights before it is sent on to other schools, and to help you keep track of your end of the deal.
Parent Send-Home Letter: By popular demand: here's a sample letter to send home to parents and families about your upcoming Bike Smart loan. You can edit the letter to better suit your plans, but this gives you a good template to work from.
Our Bike Smart program teaches student all across Vermont how to bike smartly, safely, and confidently thanks to our classrooms on wheels. Find out more about how your local school can borrow our equipment!
Vermont schools and summer programs can now borrow the Kohl's Kids Bike Smart trailer -- full of kids' bikes and all equipment and supplies needed for on-bike skills trainings -- at NO CHARGE other than a small delivery fee. The trailer includes everything you need to teach bike skills to kids in grades 3 through 8.
Kohl's Kids Bike Smart is a partnership between the Kohl's Cares program. and the Vermont Children's Hospital, with funding provided by Kohl's Department Stores. Kohl's Kids Bike Smart is powered by Local Motion, Northwest Vermont's walk-bike advocates, under contract with the Vermont Children's Hospital.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Schools and camps must have someone on staff trained in the Bike Smart On Bike curriculum in order to be eligible to request the trailer and bikes. There are no group training opportunities scheduled at this point. We will travel to schools to conduct trainings on-site.
The Kohl's Kids Bike Smart equipment loaner program includes:
- A secure, weatherproof 20-foot cargo van with 30-40 high-quality kids' bikes in various sizes
- All needed equipment and supplies for conducting bike skills trainings, including helmets, traffic cones, spray chalk, and more
- A clear and concise curriculum guide that divides the training into modules that instructors can mix and match to fit their needs
We will deliver the trailer to a school and leave it there for one to two weeks (depending on trailer availability and number of kids to be trained). Our staff are available to troubleshoot and answer questions by phone throughout the program. When all trainings had been completed, we will take the trailer to the next school.
In order to keep the costs down for this program, there is a nominal fee to help cover fuel costs for travel beyond Chittenden County. Fees have been increased for the 2014-2015 year:
Chittenden county: $50 round-trip delivery fee
Addison, Washington, Lamoille, Franklin, and Grand Isle Counties: $125 round trip delivery fee
Rutland, Windsor, Orange, Caledonia, and Orleans counties: $200 round trip delivery fee
Bennington, Windham, or Essex counties: $275 round-trip delivery fee
- We encourage schools to submit coordinated requests with nearby schools so as to allow the trailer to stay in a given region for several weeks. If schools can make suitable arrangements to have the trailer moved from one school to the next, the delivery and pick-up fees can be split across schools
- We prioritize schools that make efficient and comprehensive use of their time with the trailer. For example, a school that incorporates bike skills training into all PE classes, makes it the focus of the afterschool program, and organizes a bike festival or ride at the end of the week will get higher priority than a school that simply does a PE unit on bike skills.
- We reach out actively to schools serving disproportionate numbers of students from low- and moderate-income families and encourage such schools to apply. Delivery fees are waived for schools with 50% or more of their population eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
We are no longer accepting requests for the trailer for the 2015-2016 school year. If you are interested in requesting the trailer for next year, fill out the 2016-2017 Fall and Spring Kohl's Kids Bike Smart Trailer Request Form*
If you are a summer program who is interested in requesting the trailer for summer 2016, fill out the 2016 Summer Camp Request Form
For more information about this program, please contact Mary Catherine Graziano or (802) 861-2700 x106.
We've learned a thing or two over the years about how to teach children how to ride bicycles with confidence and style. The curriculum we use can be immensely helpful in implementing your own youth bike education curriculum.
Local Motion has also developed a user-friendly curriculum guide for teaching bike skills in collaboration with the Center for Health and Learning. This is the curriculum that we use for our own trainings, and we provide every school that borrows our trailer with bound copies for their own use.
For more information, contact Mary Catherine Graziano or (802) 861-2700 x106.
Get the Curriculum
Local Motion offers free copies of a booklet entitled "A Parent's Guide to Safe Bicycling Essentials" that covers everything a parent needs to know to help their child enjoy bicycling safely, from how to fit a helmet to how to navigate traffic.
Once you've helped your child become a safe and confident bike rider we invite you to join us in helping your community become a safer place to walk and bike. There are a lot of ways to help make this a reality where you live. To find out how, start by visiting the Local Motion page for your community!
Balance Bikes are an innovative method of teaching kids how to ride a bike without relying on training wheels. Right from the start, your child will learn how to maintain balance while being aware of their surroundings and, oh yeah, having an amazing time. Check out our resources on how a balance bike can help your child master biking!
The Balance Bike Method
This is a revolutionary method for teaching children how to ride their bicycle without using training wheels. Children who learn how to ride a bicycle using the Balance Bicycle method have fewer falls, a faster learning rate, and have a better experience than with the traditional method.
What are Balance Bikes, and how do they work?
Balance bikes are bikes that have no pedals, and children push themselves along the ground with their feet, figuring out how to find their balance. Once a child has demonstrated that they can balance the bicycle consistently, they graduate to a pedaled bike.
Steps for teaching a child how to ride with a Balance Bike
Things you need:
- Flat, paved space (a slight hill can be used to help kids get some momentum on their coasting-- used for downhill, not uphill)
- Balance bicycle, or a regular bicycle that has had the pedals removed
- Knee and elbow pads and bicycle gloves (optional--for children who are nervous about hurting themselves)
- Sidewalk chalk (optional)
- Remove the pedals from the bike (if using a regular bicycle)
- Lower the seat until the child’s feet are flat on the ground (if their heels are even slightly raised, they will have trouble balancing)
- Draw lines about 40’ long, and about 10-15' apart on the pavement
- Have the child push themselves along the ground with their feet, using the "lanes" as guides
- Once they have gotten the hang of that, challenge them to try coasting with their feet up
- When a child successfully coasts 20 feet about three to five times in a row (no wobbling), they can graduate to a pedaled bike
- Once children are on a pedaled bike, make sure that the seat is high enough that they aren’t hitting their knees with their chest, but they should be able to touch the ground quickly and easily with their feet.
- Before you start to practice pedaling, you should review how to brake (even kids with experience riding their bikes will forget how to brake in the excitement of pedaling by themselves)
- Hold the back of the seat (like you would with a traditional bike) to help the children get their balance, and walk with them while they find their balance while pedaling
- No need to let go of the seat without telling them--once you feel them pulling away from your hand, you can let them know that you are letting go, and they should also feel that they’ve got their balance and will be completely okay with you letting go
- Watch them fly!
Here's a great little video with tips on how to teach a child how to ride:
Here is a video from Bike New York about how this method works and why it is so effective: