First rule of helmet fitting: put it on front-wards. It's pretty hard to get comfortable wearing your helmet backwards!
After teaching the basics of helmet fitting, kids can help each other!
After getting helmets and bikes sorted out, it was time for a little friendly competition (and practice communication) on the soccer field behind the center.
On Thursday, the temperature dropped like a stone, but we got out to learn how to avoid crashes just the same. Using myself as the hazards to be avoided certainly added some danger and excitement to the exercises!
Check out these guys moving their weight over the rear wheel to stop quickly like seasoned professionals.
By the end of the day Thursday, everyone was ready to graduate as Master Mechanics and get on the road! One small detail, though. It snowed like crazy Friday night! This crew was not daunted, however, and about half the kids in the class decided they were good for a snowy ride, and came to the center, ready to go. First, we had to officially graduate (complete with tools and certificates courtesy of the Clif Bar Family Foundation and water bottles courtesy of the Trek Store of Shawnee):
Then we could take off:
This group was awesome at communicating and making sure everyone knew how to cross busy streets, treat traffic and traffic controls, and be courteous to each other. Go team!
This group can handle a little snow!
They can handle it and still want to race around the park afterward:
I mean, seriously. These guys are begging for a junior's race team.
Not everybody was happy about the decision to keep the group together on the way back, but they went along with it, and even got pretty good at keeping the pace right the rest of the way!
I don't have a picture of it, but we even got a police escort back to the center at 7th and Central, thanks to East Patrol Community Policing officer Parker, KCK's own super-awesome bike cop (patrol car today, but it was cold). Another great group of kids introduced to cycling, wave if you see us riding in your neighborhood!