Over the weekend, BikeMN’s education team facilitated a Walk!Bike!Fun! (WBF) and Mechanic training for educators and community members in Grand Marais, MN. Walk!Bike!Fun! trainings prepare educators to teach safe bicycling and pedestrian skills to their students, and Mechanic trainings allow educators and schools to maintain bikes and teach students to perform basic bicycle maintenance techniques.
Sometimes, it takes a village to make these trainings possible, and BikeMN could not have done either training without support from Park Tool. After a theft from the BikeMN van earlier this spring, Park Tool generously replaced our professional toolkit for staff to use during the mechanical training. Additionally, several BikeMN staff ran a Bikeable Community Workshop in Grand Marais a few weeks ago, and with those community connections, BikeMN was able to register attendees for the weekend of trainings.
On Friday, BikeMN led a Walk!Bike!Fun! workshop where educators learned about the WBF curriculum and all its lessons and activities. The training culminated with a bike ride through Grand Marais, where educators experienced different situations that they may encounter when leading group rides with their students, and techniques to address the situations. The workshop took place in the historic ‘Log Cabin’ at the Grand Marais community center, and the weather was lovely for the 3-mile ride!
On Saturday, educators and community members met in the old curling rink at the community center to learn basic mechanical skills to maintain the ISD166 fleet of bicycles. BikeMN staff taught the ABC quick check, brake, derailleur, and flat repair, as well as touched on the basics of hub and wheel maintenance. Participants got the chance to practice on their own bikes as well as have one on one support from staff.
Both training were a great success thanks to the collaborative effort of BikeMN’s staff, education team, Park Tool, and program funding from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
“The hands-on bike maintenance training from Angela, C.J., and Helena was so helpful. I now feel confident to assess and fix common bike issues that may arise. Thank you so much!”-Kristina Mattson Minnesota Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) Coordinator for Cook County
In between trainings, the education team spent valuable time planning future bike education programming for the upcoming season of Walk!Bike!Fun! and our Adult Learn to Ride program, which we hope to expand beyond the Twin Cities Metro soon. On the way home, the BikeMN team took some time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and mountain biking at the Temperance River State Park.