Chagrin Falls Intermediate School Bike Club

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The Chagrin Falls Intermediate School Bike Club was started as an initiative of Chris Woofter and Kathryn Garvey back in the 2012-2013 school year. Teacher Abby Dippel was a long-term sub at the time and was asked to co-head the club. “I hadn’t ridden a bike in probably 15 years, but was excited at the idea of having my own club,” said Abby.

The first year, the club had about 12 students. “Our club has grown over the years to as many as 30 students last year and we’re pretty close to that number again this year. For the past two years, I’ve taken on the club alone and had a blast with the kids. Throughout the year, we practice bike safety, bike maintenance, proper seat position, helmet fit, and hand signals.”

The bikers go on a few field trips throughout the year including trips to local bike shops (Bike Ohio the first year and Mountain Road the past two years) to see their behind the scenes maintenance work. They have biked at Frohring Meadows quite a few times and taken local trips down Senlac Hills and around the Intermediate School. The past two years, Jacob English, owner of Mountain Road, has been working with the club and has been a huge help. He sets up obstacle courses for the kids and shows them different techniques on their bikes.

“We have a number of parents who have participated over the years and my husband, Bob, comes to every meeting as well to ride with us,” said Abby. This year, Amy Withrow, secretary at Chagrin Falls Intermediate School, is co-advising Bike Club. They provide a snack for the kids and then ride. Toward the end of the year, the kids get a t-shirt for their participation in the club.

The Bike Club students also volunteer at the Chagrin Falls Police Bike-a-Palooza. Students in Bike Club are encouraged to volunteer to help hand out prizes, register kids or lend a hand to the police officers running each station. Bike Club parents often volunteer their time as well.

“I am continually amazed at the students’ level of enthusiasm to ride,” said Jacob English, owner of Mountain Ride Cycles in Chagrin Falls. “I feel like we are introducing a whole new generation to the benefits of cycling. It’s great to see the children over the course of a school year develop skills and learn to ride safely as a group. I grew up riding to our Chagrin schools with my friends and feel it is important that they are able to experience that sense of independence.”

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News