On Saturday, December 9, while many Atlantans were building snowmen or sipping hot cocoa, scores of children from Southwest Atlanta gathered in the West End for a very special day. Free Bikes for Kids, known as FB4K, spent the summer and fall months securing and tuning up hundreds of bikes to give away to kids. FB4K enlisted the help of Atlanta Bicycle Coalition's Education Program to lead the kids on their first ride on their brand new bikes — and to teach them how to bike safely.
As the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition's Education Coordinator, I worked with two of our hearty member-volunteers — Brenda Barr and Jesus Mata-Acosta — to shovel snow, set up a bicycle safety course, and engage future bike commuters of Atlanta in some safety drills. The new riders learned how to stop, use turn signals, and scan both left and right — essential skills as they start to negotiate their neighborhoods on two wheels.
I do this work because the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is committed to bicycle safety and we know that shifting the mindset of our most vibrant little ones is critical if we are to realize our mission: to transform Atlanta into a more livable, accessible city by making biking equitable, safe, and appealing.
As part of our commitment to improving bicycle education, safety, and accessibility for Atlanta's children, we've partnered with Atlanta Public Schools, Bearings Bike Shop, and FB4K to pilot a bold and beautiful initiative in four elementary schools.
Hundreds of second graders from Benteen, Thomasville Heights, Kindezi Gideons and Dunbar will be participating in a six-part bicycle safety course through their physical education classes.
All the outreach and education services the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition provides are totally in service to the public. We are thankful for our partners for stepping up and donating bikes and super appreciative of Atlanta's skilled and innovative P.E. teachers. Without these public servants, none of this would be possible.
If this is the type of work you like to see your Atlanta Bicycle Coalition lead in the community, then please make a year-end gift to support our Education Program in 2018!
Stephen Spring is the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition's Education Coordinator. Stephen earned a Master’s degree from the University of Maine in Educational Leadership and recently completed the coursework for a PhD in Educational Policy at the University of Texas. Bicycling has been his primary mode of transportation for decades, and he has negotiated commuting, socializing, shopping and all else involved in getting from point A to point B on his bike.