Young 'Bicycle Ambassadors' hit the streets

Peabody Elementary Bicycle ambassadors
Published: May. 13, 2016 at 2:35 AM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2016 at 6:55 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Elementary school students are hitting the streets after taking a brand new class on bicycle safety and maintenance.

The Peabody Elementary 3rd - 5th graders met as a club for the past nine weeks, and gathered Thursday afternoon to ride as official Revolutions Bicycle Ambassadors.

The after-school program through Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative taught street riding skills, hand signals, helmet safety and basic bike maintenance.

"We had a couple at the beginning that weren't really sure. They just didn't know what to expect I think," executive director at the cooperative Sylvia Crum said. "But we've been out riding around the neighborhood and I regularly hear things like, 'Wow this is so great, this is so much fun. I love bicycle ambassadors.'"

The club is an extension of the cooperative's work in the community. The group operates out of First Congregational Church in Cooper-Young, and has given away bikes at Christmas and taught classes for years.

But organizers found children often stop riding their bikes because of fixable problems like flat tires. The more in-depth ambassador program is meant to teach skills that can be shared with friends.

"We are a very close community resource for the children at this school. And I'm hoping as they have issues with their bikes, as they need maintenance for their bike, they know they can come find us and keep their bike in working order," Crum said.

Children who didn't own a bike were given one for completing the program. The club also mapped out customized routes for students to bike to school, and the ambassadors are expected to recruit other families to take up cycling.

"It's a really active club. I found that they are very tired by the time we get home at the end of club each week," Crum said.

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