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The Bike Sense Program aims to decrease bicycle crashes for school aged children in grades 3-5.
Bike Louisville’s Bike Sense program is designed as a series of five 30-40 minute lessons for Grades 3-5 Physical Education (P.E) Classes. In addition to the 5 lessons the Bike Sense curriculum also includes a youth cycling enforcement component. Bike Sense is recommended to be taught to Grades 3-5.


Teaching safe bicycling skills is one important way to support Louisville students in bicycling to school. In Louisville’s rural communities, bicycling is one significant way that children can "extend their range" beyond walking – whether it is to school, to a friend's house, or for other social or recreational activities.


The Bike Sense On-Bike curriculum is designed to teach students the skills they need to avoid typical childhood crash types. There is sometimes a misperception that most bicycle crashes involve motor vehicles. However, for bicyclists of all ages, the most frequent crash type is a simple fall – in which the bicyclist loses control of the bicycle. The bicyclist may encounter an obstacle in the roadway, have problems braking, lose control due to riding too fast, or simply lose his or her balance. Younger children are more likely to fall, as they have less experience judging road hazards, partially developed motor skills, and a less developed sense of balance. Falls can cause scraped knees, but they can also cause serious injury or death, particularly for bicyclists not wearing a helmet.


Since up to 90% of fatal bicycle crashes are the result of head trauma, Bike Sense stresses the importance of always wearing a properly fitted helmet. Bike Sense On-Bike reinforces helmet wear, and both students and instructor will wear a helmet throughout the lesson series.


Bike Sense On-Bike also teaches bicycle handling skills to avoid falls. Some crashes do involve motor vehicles; Bike Sense On-Bike teaches bicycle traffic safety skills, designed to address typical crash causes.


Many people have the mistaken impression that bicyclists are most at risk of being hit by a car from behind. Yet, nearly 90% of crashes occur in front of the bicyclist, due to turning movements, mostly at intersections. Motorists may not see a bicyclist who has the right of way, or a bicyclist may ride through a light or stop sign.


Children who are hit by a motor vehicle from behind are likely to have caused the crash by swerving into the car's path without looking. This underscores the importance of practicing riding in a straight line and looking over the shoulder before turning left.

Once children have been taught the proper techniques on how to ride a bike safely, there is a community engagement portion of the Bike Sense program that partners with the Louisville Metro Police Department's bike patrol. This program engages children in the community and allows them to get mentorship and encouragement from local police officers on bike safety proceedures. This allows kids to not only get feedback on the bike safety curriculum, it allows youth to have positive interactions with local LMPD officers.

The Louisville Metro Government is an important organization for the advocacy of safe biking. The Louisville Metro Government page dedicated to “Street Sense” provides reliable data as well as important tips for bicycle safety geared toward cyclists and automobile drivers. http://www.louisvilleky.gov/StreetSense/ped.htm

Another Louisville Metro Government associated-webpage, “Bike Louisville”, provides laws, rules, tips, and a method for cyclists to communicate problems and/or concerns to Louisville Metro. On the webpage, you will also find a link to “Complete Streets”, a current Senate bill in Kentucky. http://www.louisvilleky.gov/BikeLouisville/
http://www.louisvilleky.gov/BikeLouisville/Complete+Streets/
Senate Bill 133, currently in Kentucky’s Senate, calls for the Transportation Cabinet to fully consider in planning and development the use of the roadway by all users. The bill would not mandate the addition of bike lanes and/or sidewalks, it would simply require the cabinet to take into account all users of the roadway. At a local level, Kentucky Youth Advocates and The American Heart Association are advocacy supporters of the bill since it would help reduce childhood obesity through increased physical activity of biking. Nationally, there is a Complete Streets Coalition providing information on how to advocate and facts on the idea of “Complete Streets”.
Louisville Metro Government: http://www.louisvilleky.gov/BikeLouisville/Complete+Streets/
Kentucky Youth Advocates: http://www.kyyouth.org/
American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/
National Coalition: http://www.completestreets.org/
SB133: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/12RS/SB133.htm