What's Cool In Road Cycling

Richmond 2015 Introduces Bike Safety Program

‘Richmond 2015 Ride Like A Champion’ Educates Central Virginia Students on Safe Cycling

Richmond-area elementary school students are learning the rules of the road – from a cycling perspective – thanks to a bike safety program developed by Richmond 2015 and funded through a grant from DMV, Virginia’s Highway Safety Office.

The Richmond 2015 Youth Education Program “Richmond 2015 Ride Like A Champion” strives to educate students in kindergarten through fifth grade on bike safety. The effort coincides with the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, the nine-day cycling event that took place in Richmond Sept. 19-27, marking the first time “Worlds” have been held on American soil since 1986.

“Cycling is growing in popularity in Virginia, and with it, so is the need for more education on bike safety,” said John Saunders, director of the DMV’s Highway Safety Office. “The excitement surrounding the World Championships affords us the opportunity to reach children in Central Virginia and beyond and spread an important message in a fun and informative way.

Added Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones: “While hosting the World Championships in itself is a tremendous honor, we’ve always viewed this opportunity as having a lasting impact on the Richmond community. Educating our children in the City of Richmond and neighboring Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties on bike safety and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle will have a far-reaching effect for years to come.”

The program includes a Ride Like A Champion bike safety booklet and school flag, an online curriculum targeted at parents called “Mike & The Bike, Richmond 2015 Ride Like A Champion” and an online curriculum for educators.

In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, more than 75,000 booklets were produced and sent to every elementary school in the City of Richmond and Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties. In addition, more than 300 Richmond 2015 flags were sent to every elementary, middle and public school in those jurisdictions, and 100 more were sent to Richmond-area private schools.

“One of our mottos over the past few years has been ‘More than a bike race,’” said Monica Callahan, community engagement director of Richmond 2015, the organizer of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. “The best cyclists in the world raced on the streets of Richmond for nine days; the wisdom on bike safety we’re sharing can last a lifetime.”

Health and physical education teachers throughout Virginia can access the online teacher curriculum on the Virginia Department of Education website. The online parent curriculum will be shared through the Richmond 2015 website and SHAPE America, the largest organization of professionals involved in school-based health, physical education and physical activity who are dedicated to teaching and promoting active, healthy lifestyles.

“Combining bike-safety messages with the excitement of the World Championships is a terrific way to engage our students,” said Vanessa Wigand, principal specialist of health, physical education, driver education and athletics at the Virginia Department of Education. “The Department of Education is honored to have developed this SOL-aligned curriculum that educators across the Commonwealth can use to educate and prepare young cyclists how to be safe while riding.”

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About Richmond 2015, Inc.
Richmond 2015, Inc., is the independent nonprofit corporation responsible for the organization, management and promotion of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. Partners of Richmond 2015 include Altria, Anthem, CarMax, ChildFund International, Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, Davenport & Company, Dominion, Genworth, Hourigan Construction, Hunton & Williams, Kings Dominion, Lansing Building Products, Lexus, Markel Corp., MARTIN’S Food Markets, McGuireWoods, Michelob Ultra, Norfolk Southern, Owens & Minor, PIASCIK, The Community Foundation, TowneBank, University of Richmond, VCU Health, Virginia is for Lovers, WestRock and Williams Mullen.

In addition to its corporate partners, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Richmond, Hanover County and Henrico County are all key partners of Richmond 2015. For more information about Richmond 2015 visit www.Richmond2015.com and connect on Twitter and Facebook.

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