Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition offers the Pedal Power program for children ages 10 to 16. A sort of “driver’s ed” for cyclists, the program teaches children how to operate their bikes safely on city streets and share roadways with cars. Lessons include signaling intentions to other bikers and drivers, as well as basic bike handling skills. Students also have the opportunity to explore bike mechanics and learn how to care for their own bicycles.
After children understand the basics of maneuvering on a bike, they can explore Santa Barbara together through guided field trips that give them practical, firsthand experience. Pedal Power ultimately aims to give children the skills and confidence they need to get around the city on a bicycle.
For students using their own bikes, Pedal Power teachers provide a checklist to ensure that the bicycle is in proper working order and that no components need to be fixed or replaced. Participants who do not yet have their own bikes have the chance to earn a refurbished bicycle from the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition Bici Centro project when they finish the course.