Be safe and gracious: The cycling lessons being taught in some schools

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The Singapore Cycling Federation is partnering some schools to offer lessons in how to ride bikes safely and courteously.

The primary school children posing with their bicycles. (Photo: Natasha Razak) 

SINGAPORE: Some schools are introducing cycling lessons into their curriculum to give pupils the necessary skills and awarenesss to be able to use their bikes safely while sharing roads, pavements and park connectors with other users.

Holy Innocents Primary School is the fourth school to partner with the Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) to organise the two-day Singapore Cycle Safe Learn-To-Cycle programme.

“We want to provide opportunities for our pupils to develop cycling as an important core life skill. This is in line with NurtureSG to continue fostering healthy habits in our pupils and equip them with the life skill that they need so that they can embrace healthy living,” said the school’s head of physical education Madam Joyce Lee, on Wednesday (May 31).

The children learning how to control their bicycles. (Photo: Natasha Razak)

Modelled after a national swimming programme, Swimsafer, Cycle Safe aims to equip all students with safe cycling awareness, safe cycling skills and practical ways to demonstrate acts of graciousness while cycling along shared spaces.

At Holy Innocents, trainers began the programme by demonstrating the right way of putting on helmets. After that, the students were taught the right technique to grip handlebars to reduce any injuries in case of a fall. They were also taught how to control their bicycles by walking in circles alongside their bikes before learning how to balance on them. 

In a statement made in May 2014, the then Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said: “The trend is that more and more people are cycling, and that’s a good form of transport and it’s good for health. But we want to make sure they are trained and know about cycling so that they can cycle safely and also have regard to other road users.”

With its four-level progressive programme, Cycle Safe is customised towards Singapore’s network of park connectors and roads. Since 2016, 1000 participants have participated and the SCF said that it is working towards certifying 2000 students this year.

According to the SCF, Cycle Safe is the “fundamental starting point for someone keen on the sport of cycling and it complements the Singapore Government’s efforts and investment on a car-lite society.”

“We must prepare our young with safe cycle skills to be able to cycling safely and displaying graciousness,” said SCF’s president Jeffrey Goh Leng Soo.

Trainers guiding the children as they pedal their bicycles slowly. (Photo: Natasha Razak)

And the children seemed to enjoy learning such skills.

“I feel excited because this is my first time riding a 2-wheel bicycle. It’s a life skill where after I learn it I can never lose it. After learning it I can have a great pleasure with my family going out to cycle the 2-wheel bicycle and share a healthy and active lifestyle,” Joel Sham, 10, told Channel NewsAsia.

The Primary 4 student added: “I usually ride the scooter while my grandfather rides the bicycle. I hope to be able to ride the bicycle with him one day after I’ve learnt the skills from this programme.” 

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