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Old 01-28-07, 03:59 PM   #1
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Should high school PE classes teach cycling?

I learned on another forum that high school Physical Education classes still emphasize team sports, just like they did when I was in high school, Class of 1973. It seems like they would be teaching more about healthy lifestyles, and forms of exercise that are fun and beneficial outside the world of organized sports. Are there any schools that teach cycling?
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Old 01-28-07, 04:05 PM   #2
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Our school does.

But alot of the student dont care or show up when they do.
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Old 01-28-07, 04:10 PM   #3
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I never liked team sports. I would have enjoyed PE if they had had more individual sports. As it was, I enjoyed running, track and cross country when it was available. And golf, surprisingly (to me - I didn't think I would like it.)
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Old 01-28-07, 04:24 PM   #4
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My high school had the emphasis on team sports (Rugby, cricket, soccer) but there was also tennis, fencing, gymnastics, cross country running, rowing available to those that wanted to do these things. I diid rowing instead of cricket in my last year. Individual athletic activities are much more difficult to supervise, but I think team sports are a real disincentive to many people for an active lifestyle. There were a group of about 15 who went on high speed rides at the weekends, but this was totally unrelated to the school phys ed program.
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Old 01-28-07, 05:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I learned on another forum that high school Physical Education classes still emphasize team sports, just like they did when I was in high school, Class of 1973. It seems like they would be teaching more about healthy lifestyles, and forms of exercise that are fun and beneficial outside the world of organized sports. Are there any schools that teach cycling?
Gee, I wasn't far behind you, class of '80, and while there was a lot of team sports, there was also other activities, like X country skiing, cycling, running, and square dancing, these were co-ed activities, and students loved them. Maybe because I was in small town, Ontario, Canada.....
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Old 01-28-07, 05:18 PM   #6
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Gee, I wasn't far behind you, class of '80, and while there was a lot of team sports, there was also other activities, like X country skiing, cycling, running, and square dancing, these were co-ed activities, and students loved them. Maybe because I was in small town, Ontario, Canada.....
Were they part of the school curriculum, of after-school clubs and such?

(OT--My mother said that Henry Ford made all the kids in Michigan learn folk dancing when she was in school in the 1930s.)
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Old 01-28-07, 06:18 PM   #7
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This is a highly politicized issue which gets a lot of feathers ruffled. It seems that biking to school is discouraged.
The bastards (guidance counsellors) that run the school get a kickback of about $6,000.00 for every 16 year old who buys a new car.
Never mind that your legs will atrophy. They are all corrupt. If you tell a guidance counsellor that you want a job as close as posible to your house, they will hit you over the head with a brick. Then they will talk to your teachers so you get over three hours of homework every night, and you'll only get minimum wage.
The local high school now has a rule that no bicycles are allowed on campus!
Furthermore, the last time I went by the high school, to see if anyone was interested in working for my bicycle company, they threatened to have me arrested. Then they had the audacity to say that 97% of their graduates go on to college, so there's no use asking if anyone wants a high school job.
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Old 01-28-07, 06:22 PM   #8
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What a good idea. And, how about How to Ride a Bike classes at community colleges and adult education centers.
Can you imagine what the instructor would have to deal with? Clueless people showing up on ill fitting, clapped out bikes unwilling to spend a nickle on them. The instructor would have their work cut out for them, educating those people.
When I was in high school in Orange County, California some of the schools had surfing class.
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Old 01-28-07, 06:27 PM   #9
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hotbike,
In a way I can relate...my high school would not give us a secure area to lock our bikes up, but they would spend money to repave, restripe AND provide security for the student parking lot...and this was in the late 70's! Today you never see a bike on campus Our school frowned on students that weren't interested in going to college and I paid the price for it. Fortunately in some ways the schools where I live today are a bit better in that they still have FFA and other hands on type choices for the students. As far as PE we had team sports and track. I raced bicycles all thru high school but was never given a credit for it I still had to participate in the crap that passed for PE. If you played any of the "approved" sports you were exempt from PE. I agree we would be better served by teaching and enforcing a healthy lifestyle.

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Old 01-28-07, 06:35 PM   #10
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Furthermore, in the early 1970's, I asked the school if I could get a school color football helmet. It was before bicycle helmets were available. They said absolutely not, unless you join the football team. I was too damn skinny to play football.
Bell had a the first bicycle helmet, but it was five hundred dollars ($500.00).
I was just a kid, but when I tried to make a case of it, some old lady shouted me down and said "there's children starving in Africa! For five hundred dollars each, we could feed all the starving children in Africa!'
So everyone wrote out a check for $500.00 (pick any number, doesn't have to be the cost of a mortgage on a hemet factory.) and sent it off to Africa.

The begging and pleading we had to put up to get bicycle helmets when we were kids.
Kids today don't realize how lucky they are to have bicycle helmets.
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Old 01-28-07, 06:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I learned on another forum that high school Physical Education classes still emphasize team sports, just like they did when I was in high school, Class of 1973. It seems like they would be teaching more about healthy lifestyles, and forms of exercise that are fun and beneficial outside the world of organized sports. Are there any schools that teach cycling?
I ride with a guy who was a high school road racing team coach I believe. He is a couple of classes ahead of me. I think I just missed it. Two big problems these days seems to be money for sports equipment, and the fear of being sued for every little problem by parents.

But it's a great idea to do it. Maybe it could be tied in with driver training too.
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Old 01-28-07, 07:02 PM   #12
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In Ontario, we don't teach cycling in school as a gym sport. There are too many liabilities (for one thing, to leave school property, you must get a signed permission form every time and you cannot do much if you dont leave the property; and then there is the issue of poor bike maintenance on the part of the kiddies and who would get "it" when the bike breaks in gym class and the kid gets hurt.) This is a great pity, as it is a wonderful sport that can lead to more then some fast fading high school glory and can be done by most anyone at some level with real benefits to them.

When I was in high school, we had a teacher with the guts to run a cycling club. It lasted 6 months. I dont know but suspect that it died cause of liability issues. We also did a school triathalon one year, which was a lot of fun. It was nice for us skinny runts to kick some sporting ass in a school dominated by (snore) football.

quick edit: I seem to remember that there is some high school level mountain bike racing done out of Toronto - I remember the teams practicing at hardwood hills (back in the days when you could stay at the B and B at the trail head, get up in the morning, eat, kit up, and hit the 88km plus of one way trails for a glorious day of thrashing followed by a dip in the pool and hottub before hitting Barrie for dinner..... DAMN IT!!! I miss that place...)
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Old 01-28-07, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Were they part of the school curriculum, of after-school clubs and such?

(OT--My mother said that Henry Ford made all the kids in Michigan learn folk dancing when she was in school in the 1930s.)
Was part of the curriculum.....
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Old 01-28-07, 08:09 PM   #14
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Running track Keirin!!!! wooohoooo
Single track 101..trials, flatland BMX class. I like it!!!
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Old 01-28-07, 08:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotbike
This is a highly politicized issue which gets a lot of feathers ruffled. It seems that biking to school is discouraged.
The bastards (guidance counsellors) that run the school get a kickback of about $6,000.00 for every 16 year old who buys a new car.
Never mind that your legs will atrophy. They are all corrupt. If you tell a guidance counsellor that you want a job as close as posible to your house, they will hit you over the head with a brick. Then they will talk to your teachers so you get over three hours of homework every night, and you'll only get minimum wage.
The local high school now has a rule that no bicycles are allowed on campus!
Furthermore, the last time I went by the high school, to see if anyone was interested in working for my bicycle company, they threatened to have me arrested. Then they had the audacity to say that 97% of their graduates go on to college, so there's no use asking if anyone wants a high school job.

Umm, err, yeah, ok.
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Old 01-28-07, 09:47 PM   #16
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About 5y ago I looked into arranging a cycling tour for my students to get to a field trip. The hurdles were many and onerous. I had to essentially be responsible for personally vouching for the cycle savvy of each student on the trip (a can-bike course would count), and also sign a paper saying I had inspected every student's bike and could vouch that it was mechanically sound ON THE DAY OF THE TRIP. While I can work my way around brakes and stuff - there is no way I could tune up 30 bikes and vouch for their mechanical fitness in the 20 minutes or so that was available. So, we took the bus. Never mind that half of the students interested ride their bikes to school EVERY DAY without my help.

It's actually much easier to take a group of students on a winter overnight camping trip. That I was able to arrange.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsmile
In Ontario, we don't teach cycling in school as a gym sport. There are too many liabilities (for one thing, to leave school property, you must get a signed permission form every time and you cannot do much if you dont leave the property; and then there is the issue of poor bike maintenance on the part of the kiddies and who would get "it" when the bike breaks in gym class and the kid gets hurt.) This is a great pity, as it is a wonderful sport that can lead to more then some fast fading high school glory and can be done by most anyone at some level with real benefits to them.

When I was in high school, we had a teacher with the guts to run a cycling club. It lasted 6 months. I dont know but suspect that it died cause of liability issues. We also did a school triathalon one year, which was a lot of fun. It was nice for us skinny runts to kick some sporting ass in a school dominated by (snore) football.

quick edit: I seem to remember that there is some high school level mountain bike racing done out of Toronto - I remember the teams practicing at hardwood hills (back in the days when you could stay at the B and B at the trail head, get up in the morning, eat, kit up, and hit the 88km plus of one way trails for a glorious day of thrashing followed by a dip in the pool and hottub before hitting Barrie for dinner..... DAMN IT!!! I miss that place...)
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Old 01-28-07, 10:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajman
About 5y ago I looked into arranging a cycling tour for my students to get to a field trip. The hurdles were many and onerous. I had to essentially be responsible for personally vouching for the cycle savvy of each student on the trip (a can-bike course would count), and also sign a paper saying I had inspected every student's bike and could vouch that it was mechanically sound ON THE DAY OF THE TRIP. While I can work my way around brakes and stuff - there is no way I could tune up 30 bikes and vouch for their mechanical fitness in the 20 minutes or so that was available. So, we took the bus. Never mind that half of the students interested ride their bikes to school EVERY DAY without my help.

It's actually much easier to take a group of students on a winter overnight camping trip. That I was able to arrange.
I wish I'd had a teacher like you in high school. Just the fact that you tried to take them cycling says a lot.

I worked with a summer therapy program for emotionally impaired high school students. We took them camping a couple times. It wasn't easy for us leaders, but it was great for the kids. Most of them had never been camping, and most didn't have very good skills at getting along with others for 24 hours a day. I think they learned a lot about both camping and interpersonal skills that summer. They'd be in their 30s now. I wish we could have a reunion, see how their lives are going now.
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Old 01-28-07, 10:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajman
About 5y ago I looked into arranging a cycling tour for my students to get to a field trip. The hurdles were many and onerous. I had to essentially be responsible for personally vouching for the cycle savvy of each student on the trip (a can-bike course would count), and also sign a paper saying I had inspected every student's bike and could vouch that it was mechanically sound ON THE DAY OF THE TRIP. While I can work my way around brakes and stuff - there is no way I could tune up 30 bikes and vouch for their mechanical fitness in the 20 minutes or so that was available. So, we took the bus. Never mind that half of the students interested ride their bikes to school EVERY DAY without my help.

It's actually much easier to take a group of students on a winter overnight camping trip. That I was able to arrange.
Were you a can-bike instructor? If so, what is the curriculum?
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Old 01-29-07, 06:53 AM   #19
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We had a cycling program in High School as an experiment.

At the first class meeting, the coach got us all together, pointed to me, and said, "Follow Rich".

So, I guess, I was the cycling instructor! We did have a lot of fun, just riding around east San Diego. It was almost like ditching school! Wide streets and not too much traffic. I think that was the first and last year we had cycling at PHHS, because I graduated that year.

As to whether cycling should be taught in school... I'm not sure. If there was an instructor that was knowledgeable and believed in the program, fine. Otherwise, no.

I'm a Scoutmaster and Bicycling Merit Badge counselor. Everyone in our troop has a good shot at getting Bicycling Merit Badge. We have the merit Badge Program twice a year. Out of the 75 or so Scouts I've counseled so far, maybe some of them will stick with it?
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Old 01-29-07, 10:00 AM   #20
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Actually it should start long before high school. We currently teach a multitude of subjects over all the years that kids attend classes; from elementary through high school... many semesters of the same subjects as the students advance in complexity within that subject. Yet driving, and how to deal in traffic, are usually taught in a 6-8 week “seminar” class over weekends.

We teach english over about 6-8 years, math the same, history, about 5 years. Driving, 6 weeks. Does that make sense? Most folks will be driving their entire adult life, but how much algebra or sentence diagramming will they do? Sure, some will go on and build on the foundations of earlier lessons... and go to college and become engineers, rocket scientists, journalists, etc. But nearly everyone will drive for their entire life... based only on that 6-8 weeks of driving instruction.

What I suggest is a basic bicycle class early in elementary school. Later in middle school, at about age 12, teach traffic and safety on bikes. Follow that up in high school at about age 14 with advanced bike skills... then at age 16, after the kids have had 2-3 semesters of traffic instruction and several years of riding a bike, teach a full semester of driving... with emphasis on the responsibilities and ethics of the privilege of driving.

All that instruction can and should include the history of driving, and of the roads, and of the rights that all the users of the road have.
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Old 01-29-07, 11:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I'm a Scoutmaster and Bicycling Merit Badge counselor. Everyone in our troop has a good shot at getting Bicycling Merit Badge. We have the merit Badge Program twice a year. Out of the 75 or so Scouts I've counseled so far, maybe some of them will stick with it?
Good work eubi. What are the requirements for a bicycling merit badge? Do most kids in your troop already have their own bikes?
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Old 01-29-07, 01:16 PM   #22
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Good work eubi. What are the requirements for a bicycling merit badge? Do most kids in your troop already have their own bikes?
Thanks! Here are the requirements:

http://www.meritbadge.com/mb/039.htm

Over the years, I was surprised to find a couple of Scouts that did not own bikes (the economic levels of families in our troop run to both ends of the spectrum). A couple bikes were so thrashed I would not allow them to be used. Others were too small or too big.

Fortunately, between my sons and I, we have a stable of loaners! Anyone that wants to ride gets to ride.
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Old 01-29-07, 01:18 PM   #23
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Until the grant ran out, the local schools here taught the LAB Kids II course at the 7th grade level. A full-time instructor went from school to schoo, taking over the PE class for two weeks to present the course. He used a trailer full of bikes, helmets, road signs and such.
As a result, rider injuries around here have been on the decline.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:45 PM   #24
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I would think that verbal and/or written instruction on bicycle proceedures and laws would suffice to advance the cause of road sharing without the time, equipment and liability of actually teaching cycling.
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Old 01-29-07, 02:59 PM   #25
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I would think that verbal and/or written instruction on bicycle proceedures and laws would suffice to advance the cause of road sharing without the time, equipment and liability of actually teaching cycling.

Yeah, look how well that method works for teaching driving.
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