The Regional Municipality Of York

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Cycling Education

York Region recognizes the importance of increasing bicycle safety knowledge and cycling opportunities to elementary school and high school students across the Region.  The programs and resources below aim to support schools, stakeholders and the public.

Making Tracks: Active Transportation Skills Training

York Region’s Making Tracks program is an active transportation education program geared towards elementary students in teaching safety and skills fundamentals in walking, cycling and scootering through a fun and informative way. The Making Tracks program is based on a train-the-trainer model involving teacher instruction to deliver the programming to their students through curriculum-based units designed with in-classroom learning and physical activity.

Making Tracks teaches:

  • Proper equipment selection and operation
  • Safety considerations and precautions to reduce risk
  • Hands-on active transportation skills to travel successfully and safely
  • Route awareness and planning to improve navigation and safety

Become a Making Tracks school today! The next leader training occurs in Spring 2019. For more information please contact cycling@york.ca or 1-877-464-9675 ext. 74957 if you are interested in bringing Making Tracks to your school or have any questions.

Since 2016, the Making Tracks program has trained over 60 teachers and community leaders who are now bringing York Region students these important life skills, encouraging walking and rolling to and from school and an active and healthy lifestyle.

“Overall the kids really enjoyed the experience. It was a program that they showed a lot of enthusiasm for and keenly participated in.” – Grade 6 teacher

“The kids loved this and wish we had even more time with the scooters!” – Gym teacher

Leader Training Session Photo with Cover of Making Tracks graphics.

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School Cycling Education Program (BikeFest)

The Cycling Education Program (BikeFest) was delivered by York Region from 2010 to 2016 to teach elementary school students safe cycling skills, signals and hazards in a hands-on schoolyard or community centre setting. Elementary schools and parents were encouraged to register for the free regional program to improve bicycle safety around their neighbourhoods. York Region provided certified instructors from CAN-BIKE (the Canadian Cycling Association’s national cycling safety program) to teach students cycling skills in a  hands-on outdoor format.

York Region is transitioning to a new program called Making Tracks, which trains students in a greater variety of active transportation modes in a more integrated and broader-reaching way.  

BikeFest is no longer sponsored by York Region, however interested schools or stakeholders may choose to implement BikeFest with their own resources. Please contact York Region for further details.

 

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Active and Safe Routes to School

Active and Safe Routes to School is an initiative geared towards encouraging families to choose active transportation for the trip to and from school. Active transportation programs encourage school communities to walk, wheel (cycle, scoot, wheelchair, skate) or bus to and from school. Active transportation increases physical activity and improves physical, mental and emotional health, while also benefiting our environment.

School Travel Planning is a collaborative process with York Region District and Catholic School Board’s Active and Safe Routes to School Coordinator and York Region Public Health nurses. Together school administrators, teachers, school board staff, parents, Public Health departments, Regional and Municipal staff work towards ensuring the school community is walk and bike friendly. York Region Public Health can support schools to implement an Active and Safe Routes to School Program focused on promoting active transportation to and from school.

http://www.saferoutestoschool.ca

http://net.schoolbuscity.com/active-safe-route-to-school

Photos of childern and parents on their way to school; cycling and walking.

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Walking Wednesday Newsletter

Promoting Active Travel To and From School

Walking Wednesdays is a resource that encouraging families to choose active transportation for the trip to and from school instead of driving in a private vehicle.  

Walking Wednesday/Active transportation programs:

  • Are fun and engage the whole school community
  • Encourage school communities to walk, bike, take the bus and/or park and walk a block!
  • Are social! Spend time with family and friends, and meet new people
  • Enhance school safety by decreasing the volume of vehicles at school
  • Increase physical activity, improves physical, mental and emotional health while also benefiting our environment
  • Improve student success by improving health and wellness
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants

Walking Wednesday Resources Monthly Subscription

Promotional Fact Page

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York Regional Police Programs

Grade 3 Bicycle Safety Program

The Community Safety Village of York Region is an educational facility designed to bring safety messages to children from Kindergarten through Grade 5 in an exciting and interactive way. Grade 3 students learn from a police officer how to properly fit their bicycle helmets and how to safely ride their bicycles through the village using operational traffic lights, a railway crossing and bicycle lanes. All bicycles are provided for the students (some with training wheels), but they must bring a bicycle helmet with them to the village.

https://www.yrp.ca/en/community/Teachers.asp

Tim Hortons Earn-A-Bike Program

Partners youth with York Regional Police officers to clean up their communities. Youth earn a bike for completing community service hours. Suitable for youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to own a bike. The program is sponsored by local Tim Hortons restaurants.

  • Open to youth aged 10 to 14
  • Held from late April to late June

https://www.yrp.ca/en/community/youth-programs.asp

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Contact Your Local Municipality

If you would like to inquire about other cycling skills training programs for Youth or Adults, please contact your local municipal representative.

Town of Aurora
Lisa Worth, Manager of Recreation
Email: lwarth@aurora.ca
Phone:  905-727-1375 ext. 4765

Town of East Gwillimbury
Kevin MacKinnon, Manager of Recreation Services
Email: kmackinnon@eastgwillimbury.ca
Phone: 905-478-4282

Town of Georgina
Jessica McLean, Recreation Programmer
Email: jmmclean@georgina.ca
Phone: 905-476-4301 ext. 2313

Township of King
Jon Bell, Recreation Services Supervisor  
Email:  jbell@king.ca
Phone: 905-833-5321 ext. 5225

City of Markham
Mary Creighton, Recreation Director
Email:  mcreighton@markham.ca
Phone: 905-477-7000 ext. 7515

Town of Newmarket
Kristi Carlen, Recreation Manager
Email: kcarlen@newmarket.ca
Phone: 905-953-5300

Town of Richmond Hill
Josh Ward, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator
Email:  josh.ward@richmondhill.ca
Phone: 905-747-6340

City of Vaughan
Dorothy Kowpak, Project Manager, Active and Sustainable Transportation
Email: Dorothy.kowpak@vaughan.ca
Phone: 905-832-8585 ext. 8812

Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville
Barb Armstrong, Recreation and Fitness Supervisor
Email: barb.armstrong@townofws.ca
Phone: 905-642-7529 ext. 5328

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York Region Cycling Yearbook

York Region is proud to introduce the first edition of the York Region Cycling Yearbook. It serves as a benchmarking report for the current state of cycling and it represents York Region’s vision and commitment to a more bike-friendly future.

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Bicycle and Helmet Safety

Cycling is the most popular outdoor activity among young Canadians. Unfortunately, every year 50,000 children are seriously injured in bike related mishaps. Wearing a certified helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injuries by 85 per cent.

Children and youth (under 18) are required by law to wear a helmet with the chin strap clip fastened under the chin when cycling. Kids imitate their parents. Ninety-eight per cent of children will wear their helmets if their parents do, so wear one every time you ride.

Before age ten, most children do not have the skills to cycle safely on the road and they need help to make good choices. Children under nine years should cycle with responsible adults at all times.

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Bike Inspection

Begin each cycling season and each ride with a complete bike inspection. If your bike is not in perfect shape take it to a bike shop for a check-up. Check for:

  • Size of bike: Make sure your bike is the proper size. A bike that is too big or too small will be hard to control. You should be able to comfortably straddle the bike frame while standing flat footed on the ground. There should be at least a 2-3 inch gap between you and the top bar
  • Tire Pressure: Make sure your tires are properly inflated
  • Chain: Check the bike's chain to make sure it's clean and lubricated
  • Brakes: Check your brakes for even pressure. They should make your back wheels skid on dry pavement, but you don't want brakes that stick
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Components of a Safe Bike

Some bicycle equipment is required by law, while other equipment is recommended.

Required Equipment

  • Helmet: Cyclists under 18 are required by law to wear a helmet when cycling. The helmet has to be on your head and the chin strap clip must be fastened under the chin. Does your helmet fit properly?  Check our helmet fit brochure and see
  • Light and reflector: If you ride 30 minutes before sunset and/or 30 minutes before sunrise, you need a white light (not just a reflector) and a red rear reflector or red rear light
  • Bell or horn: A bell or horn that works must be attached to the bike
  • Reflective tape: White reflective tape on the front forks, red reflector tape on the front and rear stay

Recommended Equipment

  • Basket: Having a basket lets you keep your hands free for steering
  • Water Bottle: A water bottle and cage allow you to stay hydrated
  • Shoes: When cycling, wear shoes that cover your toes and back of your foot like running shoes
  • Bright Clothing: Reflective and bright clothing make you more visible to drivers when riding in the dark
  • Eyewear: Protective eyewear can keep the sun, bugs and wind from blinding you
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Traffic Laws and Fines

Your bicycle is considered a vehicle and falls under the jurisdiction of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)  The following are just some of the offences you could be fined for under the HTA:

  • Improper bicycle lighting: $20
  • Improper or no helmet (under 18): $60
  • Parent/guardian knowingly permit person under 16 – no helmet: $60
  • No bell/ no horn: $85
  • Ride in or along crosswalk: $85
  • Ride two on a bicycle: $85
  • Attachment to vehicle: $85
  • Disobey stop sign – fail to stop: $85
  • Fail to signal for turn: $85
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