Bicycle Colorado

Sharing the bike love

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Passing off the trailer keys.
Passing off the trailer

We have shiny new bikes! With the support of BikeSource, our education department secured a grant from Specialized and purchased a colorful new fleet of 16 bikes to use for our school programs.

This meant that a used fleet of 17 bikes with tons of life left in them was packed in a cargo trailer, and we needed to find them a new home.

A home for the bikes

Last year, Pagosa Springs was chosen as one of six communities in Colorado to receive funding and support for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) work. They enthusiastically formed an SRTS coalition and quickly became a model community for mobilizing support around kids biking and walking to school.

When they heard about the bike fleet and trailer, they jumped up and down with excitement…literally. Determined to get more bikes into the community, Annie Sewell, Archuleta School District’s SRTS program manager, mobilized the school district.

Not their first (bike) rodeo

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The new bike fleet.
The bike fleet

Pagosa already had some bikes for kids. A small fleet was purchased with funds from a substance abuse prevention and intervention grant to engage high-risk youth in alternatives to substance use.

Sandy Lane, the health and wellness coordinator for the district, worked with middle school principal Chris Hinger on how to best address substance abuse prevention in Pagosa.

She explains, “We created a proposal that was 100% alternatives to substance use through adventure. There was a classroom component, a service learning component and overnight adventures for the very highest-risk students. The bicycles were used for day adventure trips.”

Like me, you may be wondering if biking is an effective strategy for substance abuse prevention. While we will learn more with time, one teacher quoted a student as saying, “It was the adventure trips that kept me in school this year. I don’t know if I would have made it in school otherwise.” Perhaps the joy of riding encourages health in more ways than I ever thought!

With the addition of our bike fleet, the district now has the capacity to both expand their substance prevention work and take out whole classes at a time.

What the kids are saying

Within a week of arriving in Pagosa, kids were on the bikes! Middle school students are hitting the dirt and they are loving it. Here is what they’re saying:

  • “I like that we get to breathe fresh air and not sit in a classroom for ten straight hours. It’s so fun and makes me happy!”
  • “We like that we get to be outside riding bikes and actually get to see the sun. It makes going to school worth it.”
  • “Mountain biking is awesome. I like everything about it. I look forward to it all day. I would come to school just for mountain biking. It makes the rest of the day worth it.”
  • “I like that I get to bike for a period because it relieves my stress. It gets my frustrations out at the end of the day.”

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mtnbiking2
Middle school students already enjoying the bikes

Many More Miles to Ride

We are so excited to share the bike love with the Pagosa Springs community. There is no doubt that these bikes will be put to good use and that kids are already experiencing the many joys and benefits of riding. Huge thanks to Annie, Sandy and all others at the Archuleta School District for making great use of the bikes![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.

COMMENTS (2)

ellen - Reply

I had no idea. This is AWESOME!

annie - Reply

Jenna,

Thank you for this write up, I am grateful!

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