Pupils on track to confident riding

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Safety first . . . Green Island School pupils (from front) Ollie Warrington (10), Leo Hemopo (9), Amber Hurring (10) and Shyia O'Connell (10) ride around the school's painted track as part of a bike safety session last week. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Green Island School’s new painted bike track and cycling lessons are helping pupils become more confident riding their bikes on the road.

The school is the latest in Dunedin to receive cycle skills sessions from BikeSchool, supported by the Dunedin City Council, and had its first one on Thursday.

It is part of a programme aimed at helping more children experience the benefits of riding a bike within the school environment.

BikeSchool owner Scarlett Hagen said the sessions were aimed at making children more confident riding in the city’s cycle lanes, and teaching them the road rules.

About 20 schools did cycle skills – including Elmgrove, Silverstream and Carisbrook, she said.

BikeSchool also custom-designed painted bike tracks for four schools and one at Walton Park, Fairfield, and taught the children how to use them.

When Dr Hagen, a former world champion mountain biker, designed the tracks, she tried to incorporate different features, including stop signs, roundabouts and pedestrian crossings.

Green Island School’s track was painted late last month.

School principal Steve Hayward said he was pleased the school was involved in the programme.

It was all about “getting out and being active”, as most children had access to a scooter, skateboard or bike.