KIDS BUILDING BIKES

STEM EDUCATION

EXPLOREINDY

“The biggest thing for me is that riding a bike is something they can do for the rest of their lives. I call them life-long leisure activities. Riding a bike is fun, it has a social aspect to it, and it is something that a lot of my students don’t get really get exposed to or have the opportunity to experience”

Marcus Dalton

P.E. Teacher, Nora Elementary

Kids Riding Bikes allows over 50,000 kids each year to experience the power of the bicycle as we bring the program into schools, community centers and parks across central Indiana. Working alongside educators in over two dozen school districts, the program is used as an immersive experiential activity that provides a platform for educational messaging that aligns with Indiana Department of Education standards.

During each riding session, students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade pedal multiple courses of varying lengths and difficulties, all in an environment where the bicycle has not traditionally been found – their PE class. As we serve 150 students a day in each school, we find that 10% of them are experiencing the joy of pedaling a bicycle for the very first time.

Our equipment can best be described as an interactive indoor bicycling simulator that utilizes technology to gamify the experience of riding a bicycle. 8 bikes are placed on stationary trainer stands which interface with a customizable computer software program that simulates riding outside while also creating a safe environment for kids to enjoy the bicycle. Each course displayed on the screen in front of the group has a unique terrain profile that includes uphills and downhills of varying difficulty.

As the rider pedals their bicycle, their movement through the course is represented by an icon moving across the screen so they can track their progress (and the progress of the other riders) in real time. Also viewable are a variety of real time statistics showing data related to speed, power output, distance and time.

“It’s one thing to set up a table or have a prize wheel at things like events, but to have a 30 foot dome with your branding on it and bicycles there is a level of engagement people will remember.”

Adam Scott

Interim Director, HRH Foundation and Community Relations

Our student to staff ratio is 4:1 allowing us to provide individualized attention to each rider. Our courses are challenging enough for kids who ride regularly but short enough to give even first time pedalers an opportunity to struggle, improve, overcome and finish each course – generating smiles and high fives along the way.

While the equipment itself is super engaging for the kids (bicycle video game anyone?), the most impactful part of our programming is the education that is layered into the overall experience by our staff. Kids learn how the bicycle can improve both physical and mental health, be used for transportation, explore their community, along with improving air quality when used instead of a car.

Our student to staff ratio is 4:1 allowing us to provide individualized attention to each rider. Our courses are challenging enough for kids who ride regularly but short enough to give even first time pedalers an opportunity to struggle, improve, overcome and finish each course – generating smiles and high fives along the way.

While the equipment itself is super engaging for the kids (bicycle video game anyone?), the most impactful part of our programming is the education that is layered into the overall experience by our staff. Kids learn how the bicycle can improve both physical and mental health, be used for transportation, explore their community, along with improving air quality when used instead of a car.

Our staff works alongside the PE teachers to create positive character-building moments by not only encouraging students to strive for their personal best and challenge themselves, but also to interact with each other using thoughtful words and actions of encouragement. The end result is an activity where kids are riding towards one goal together while simultaneously putting in the work to achieve personal betterment – a lesson that can serve them well in many other areas of their life.