In recognition of the upcoming World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, we are proud to support the members of Girl Scouts Troop 2074, who are working to make streets safer for everyone who uses them. The young advocates will share what they learned with their families and friends, creating a culture of active living right where they are. Read on to learn more about their project in their own words:
What our project is and why we are doing it?
By Girl Scouts Troop 2074
Troop 2074 from Academie Lafayette is working on our Bronze Project Award. The Bronze Award is a project that Juniors (4th and 5th grade) do by creating a sustainable action project that meets a need in the community. Academie Lafayette Junior Girl Scouts Irene Dye, Grace Adams, Alice Young, Adeline Boyers, Cyan Fitzpatrick, and Natalie Lona met at a local coffee shop to discuss needs that we observed on a walk in the neighborhood near our school. We named that most, if not all of us, go to a school where we can walk or bike to school. It’s important to know what we’re doing.
Also, we noticed that people in our community were having high amounts of accidents on bikes which caused them to get badly hurt or die, like previous Academie Lafayette staff member Mr. Pablo’s son, Pablo Sanders. Miss Sally’s boyfriend was also involved in a hit and run while riding his bicycle. This can happen for many reasons like not being sure how to ride a bike safely in traffic, or drivers of cars not paying close attention to bike lanes or bikes and hitting people.
Our goal is to create awareness for bike safety that supports cyclists and car drivers to prevent accidents and deaths. Bike safety is important for everyone.
How did we get started?
After we decided on a project, we contacted BikeWalkKC to serve as a resource and partner in this project. The next step was having a Zoom call with members of BikeWalkKC to discuss the project and partnership. We then did our walkability study, per BikeWalkKC’s recommendation, before deciding final steps. We met at our Armour Campus and completed a socially distanced walkability study. We met up in person as a troop and met with BikeWalkKC instructors who taught us several things that we have learned and will share below.
Reflection of what was learned
ABC Quick Check
A – Check air in your tires
B – Check your brakes to make sure they work
C – Check your chain to make sure nothing is caught in it, it works, and is not popped off gears
Bonus information – adjust your seat so it is not too high or too low. It should be hip high.
Getting started riding
- Move the pedal around to align with the diagonal tube on the bike to create a power pedal for a good starting point.
- Use brakes to stop – slowly apply brakes
- Turn your head the direction you want to go
- Eyes should be looking further down the road so you can see where you’re going and the things around you
- Pay attention to everything around you. Cars don’t always see you.
- Use proper signals when you turn or slow down
- Be aware of items in the road such as blown out tires, cones, trees, leaves, trash, rocks, etc
- Make sure you have lights on your bike – flashing red, steady red, flashing white, steady white
- Wear light colored and reflective clothing
- Wear a helmet and adjust it properly. It should not be too far forward or backward on your head. It shouldn’t fall off when you shake your head.
- If wearing a skirt or dress, tuck the skirt under your bottom so it doesn’t get caught in the chains
Post project thoughts
By knowing more information about how to stay safe on our bikes and wear our helmets safely has empowered us to do this more consistently. Also, we now are able to assertively tell our friends and family how to correctly do these things so they can be safe too. Knowing specifically to turn your head the direction turning has helped. We learned that many of us already do the power pedal, we just didn’t have a name for it. Some of us actually rode a bike for the first time with success.
Dedicated to Pablo Sanders, Jr.
Watch the dedication video here: https://youtu.be/j_9AJifOpXk
“It was great to work with a group of such motivated and attentive young women! We practiced various bike handling skills so that the troop would feel safer and more confident when biking to school and around their neighborhood. The girls did a fantastic job at identifying/avoiding potential safety hazards and applying the three rules of the road. Thanks for letting us be a part of your project!” — Ashley, Instructor at BikeWalkKC
Learn more about BikeWalkKC’s Community Partner offerings on the Girl Scouts of NEKS and NWMO’s website.