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Burnaby Velodrome Hosts Field Trips As iRide Expands To 10,000 Students

This week Cycling BC’s iRide program hit its target of over 10,000 students booked for programs across the province in 2015.

Last week was a great example of the growth of the iRide program, with the first 4 of 7 field trips to the Burnaby Velodrome, 2 more field trips to the Abbotsford BMX track and the beginning of outdoor programming with an event in West Vancouver.

Led by head coach Julian Base, iRide field trips to the Burnaby Velodrome provide an exceptional opportunity to try track cycling in a safe environment. Breaking a 20-30 student class into 3 groups, two assistant coaches work with students in the in-field, playing games and practicing drills to become acquainted with fixed gear pedaling. This leaves a small group of riders for Julian to work with on the track. Students slowly start with laps on the cement floor, before graduating to the coat and eventually riding the boards in the straightaways. Cones are used to teach the nature of the track’s slope and if students are strong enough, Julian will take riders up on the track one at a time.

On average, at least one student per class has been able to ride well enough to travel up to the blue line with Julian. In fact, last Thursday’s session resulted in a tight pack of five riders following Julian on the blue line–very impressive! All students who were able to graduate to this level were awarded a jersey.

Cowichan valley students of Maple Bay Elementary enjoyed their 3rd week of programming. Coach Glenowyn Carlson reports:

Today’s four stations included hill climbing, slam the brakes, a large figure 8 with students riding beside one another, riding planks and front wheel lifts. I used the older students who had completed the earlier session to assist with coaching the next batch of younger students. It was an effective way to keep all the students engaged and working on their skills/explanations.

The highlight of my day was a boy riding a modified tricycle who participated like a champ. It was inspiring to see the boy’s strong motivation to learn the drills. I also has the pleasure of speaking with a teacher about her own cycling experience and discuss how we can include her in the class so she also feels comfortable on a bicycle. Next week we will have Experience Cycles come in to check every student’s bike and we’ll finish our four iRide sessions with a trail loop behind the school, the Turtle Race, the Longest Coast and Shark Island.

Outdoor programming also began with an assembly at Cypress Park Primary school on Feb 25th before hitting the fields the next day for cycling drills. DEVO rider and iRide coach Bronwen Capmbell joined coach Ben Chaddock in the afternoon to help with the grade one and kindergarten students after she herself finish her high school studies. Of course the students loved Bronwen’s energy and coaching style. iRide’s Vancouver area head coach Wes Ochtiwa is returning again March 4th and 5th with Bronwen to complete the four session program.

For event availability and full information on Cycling BC’s iRide Schools and Community Program, please contact