Students peddle the wheel thing

A principal passionate about bike safety has launched a regular bike bus to help students practise their skills and to spend more quality time with them.

The bike bus was launched at Rutherford Public School to celebrate the recent Ride to School day and was so successful it is expected to become a regular event.

Each Friday students and teachers will don their helmets and ride to school together. Wet weather alternatives will be conveyed through the school's Facebook page so those wanting to join will know if the bus has been cancelled due to rain.

A popular idea

Looping around the local school area on the inaugural ride, principal Sean Andrews and four of his teaching staff were joined by more than 30 students in the early morning parade.

The teaching staff, who rode at the front, back and sides of the group wore coloured vests, and brought along mobile phones and whistles as safety precautions. The students and their families were responsible for ensuring the bikes were roadworthy, tyres were pumped and their safety gear in perfect condition.

Learning about safety

The bike lessons, which began in Term 1, were kicked off with an assessment of the students' riding abilities. Throughout the term the students learned about brake testing, correct seat height and general road safety.

"The group I have currently has a huge diversity from kids who can outride me to kids on training wheels," said Mr Andrews.

"We're at the stage now where we can venture on to the bush track - we've done a fair bit of variety of riding. The classes may be streamed to support the students' different abilities."

Social interaction

Mr Andrews said the lessons gave him the opportunity to spend time with the students.

 "The idea of the bike safety classes was my effort to really get involved with the kids. Being the principal of a large school community I don't have much of an opportunity. I wanted to have a way to positively meet and engage with the stage 2 and 3 kids," Mr Andrews said.

Photo: Rutherford Public School principal Sean Andrews with teachers and students on the inaugural bike bus tour. Photo supplied by Rutherford Public School.

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