Kids love classes on two wheels for Bikes in Schools

Te Kura o Takaro pupil Nikau Taylor, 11, having a blast riding his chopper.
Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ.

Te Kura o Takaro pupil Nikau Taylor, 11, having a blast riding his chopper.

Takaro School has a new three-stage bike track for kids to learn on as part of the Bikes in Schools programme.

The track runs around the outside of the school field, and was opened on Friday.

About $50,000 was donated by Palmerston North District Council for the project, which includes a skills track and a pump track with hills.

Nevaeh Waaka, 6, decorated her bike for the launch of the new bike track at Te Kura o Takaro on Friday.
Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ.

Nevaeh Waaka, 6, decorated her bike for the launch of the new bike track at Te Kura o Takaro on Friday.

Asphalt, road marking and extras were added with support from other organisations, teacher Lizzie Notman said.

Fifty bikes of different sizes were also purchased for the school, and the funds covered a helmet for each pupil.

"The kids love it, and it's not just here for our school, it's for the community to use, the kindies and families and other people as well," Notman said.

"It's really good, we're already seeing people come down and use it."

Some of the senior classes began learning on the track about a week ago, and the whole school will begin Bikes in Schools lessons with their teachers as part of their regular classes next week.

"I enjoy it, and it makes me think about the road rules and being safe on the road," 12-year-old Kade Winiata said.

"I'm better at balancing and how to ride the bike, and staying two seconds behind people and being aware of my surroundings."

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Getting to school when you're running late would be better on a bike, he said. "It's good exercise ... you can get there by biking really fast."

The bike lessons were great for kids to let off steam and get some time outside and learning new skills in between academic subjects, Notman said.

About 30 kids at the school regularly bike to school, and the track can be used during lunchtimes.

 - Stuff

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