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iRide @ Vancouver: Graduates new head coach Nigel Thompson

The iRide Program was on the road again this week reaching out to students across British Columbia, making special trips to Chilliwack, Langley, North Vancouver, Surrey and Port Coquitlam, totalling 1200 students.

Experienced youth counseler Nigel Thompson graduated from the iRide Apprentice Program this week and joined our iRide staff as a Head Coach. After working with Wes Ochitwa, Julian Base and Ben Chaddock over the past 4 weeks, Nigel has demonstrated all of the characteristics of a top iRide coach: care, enthusiasm and clear instruction.

I knew from the moment I met Nigel back in November that he was someone I needed to have on board to make this program a success. He has a great presence in the room, a big smile and his work experience with youth has made for a quick transition. Once picking up the general flow of a session, along with a few tricks, I just let him get out there and take the reins. He is a natural! Now I just need to get him his own fleet of bikes!

– iRide Coordinator Ben Chaddock.

Wrapping up the final event at Mt.Lehman Elementary in Abbotsford, where Nigel coached each of the 4 Thursday events, students reported:

iRide is the best teaching biking thing in the world – Wyatt

When you come to iRide, you learn cool new stuff you never knew before – Jessica

The iRide coaches are really super helpful in learning new things – Nathanial

If you did’t know how to ride a bike, iRide is the best place to learn fast – Fergus

Vancouver Head Coach, Julian Base, spent the week north of Chilliwack at Rosedale Traditional Community school. In fact iRide arrival was so anticipated that one class from Cheams Elementary made trips over to Rosedale each day in order to earn an iRide session and maximize Julian’s time.  The week included every level of cyclist from first-time beginner to B.M.X. expert and with the help of assistant coach Colby Johnston, Julian reports there were many smiles and high-fives:

I split the classes into skilled groups to best focus on a select number of critical skills. This worked well for the groups of the less-skilled riders as I witnessed a fast rate of progression. The teachers were surprised when some the first time beginners were able to join the rest of the gang in all the bike-based games after just a few days.

All in all, it was a rewarding week because I watched a crew of precocious students evolve into a pack of tenacious cyclists! Colby also created one of the surprise highlights of the week when he brought in a few sets of rollers and wind-trainers for the special needs students and said ‘it was an awesome week as the kids rode through every type of weather and kept on smiling.

This week also brings the announcement of iRide Vancouver Summer Camps starting July 6th, 2015.  The goal of the camp is to introduce young cyclists (ages 8-13) to multiple aspects of cycling while striving to keep the fun in cycling a priority. Weekly camps will include BMX., trail riding, velodrome, road skills and bike maintenance. Tons of cycling based games will be utilised in skill development, helping to create skills within a fun filled environment. To learn more, please visit our Summer Camp page.

If you’re a fan of Cycling BC’s iRide program, check us out on TwitterInstagram, or donate through Chimp to support our programs in your area. To learn more about iRide and book events, please contact or (604) BC-iRide.