Health Forward Foundation

BikeWalkKC teaches KC youth skills to be lifelong cyclists

With support from the Health Forward Foundation and other partners, BikeWalkKC is celebrating over six years of bicycle education. Since 2012, we have taught bicycle handling and safety proficiency, maintenance and repair skills, and advocacy to students across the Kansas City Metro. Our graduates use their bicycles for exercise and transportation, and they encourage their friends and family to join in the fun.

In 2017, we delivered our Bicycle Lesson and Safety Training (BLAST) programming to 4,846 students at 33 schools in 10 districts. In BLAST, students learn to navigate city streets safely, predictably, and confidently.

“The students who could already bike enjoyed riding in the gym and learning new skills like hand signals and how to ride slow with control. There were students in each class that had troubles riding a bike and it was amazing to see them learn in just a few lessons!” ~Becky Keely, Olathe Schools

BikeWalkKC is continually developing new programming to increase our scope, and in 2017 we focused on bike skills for younger kids and Earn-A-Bike offerings for the whole family. Pre-BLAST for third graders taught 150 students to ride for the first time, and many of these kids will go through BLAST as fourth graders this year, equipped with all they need to become lifelong bicyclists. The program was popular, and we are expanding Pre-BLAST to even more schools in 2018.

Our first Family Earn-A-Bike session was hosted by Emerson Elementary in Kansas City, Kansas. Fourteen adults and 16 students learned basic bike maintenance, including brake and shifting functionality and fixing a flat tire. The event was such a success that we opened our 2018 education season with another Family Earn-A-Bike at Grant Elementary where five parents and 15 students received bikes and helmets.

“For the last several years, BikeWalkKC’s programs have focused primarily on student education and engagement, with indirect parent involvement. We have worked hard over the last year to build our capacity to more fully engage the entire family, encouraging healthy lifestyles not just for participating students, but for their parents and siblings too. We think this will encourage longer-term healthy behavior, and the results have already been promising.” ~ Maggie Green, BikeWalkKC Director of Programs 

BikeWalkKC is committed to redefining our streets as places for people, and we are honored to be represented in this endeavor by the thousands of children and families who have participated in our bicycle education programs. You, too, can advocate for active living in Kansas City: “Join the movement” at https://bikewalkkc.org/getinvolved.

What do the students think of BLAST? Find out here!

You can connect with BikeWalkKC on their social channels: Facebook and Twitter, or by using the #bikewalkkc hashtag.


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Health Forward's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact Health Forward Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at jsykes@hcfgkc.org.

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Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City MO 64108
(816) 241-7006