Bike workshops now in Castlemaine and Newstead

The On Your Bike! school holiday program supports teens and tweens to ride safely to school.

For the fourth year in a row the On Your Bike! school holiday program, supporting teens and tweens to ride safely to school, will be hosted by CycleSafe Mount Alexander.

This year the group has extended the workshop to cover two towns – Castlemaine and Newstead. Newstead’s newly sign-posted tracks by the ‘Walks and Wheels’ Group have inspired a summer workshop in Newstead also.

The popular workshop has a focus on how and where to ride safely around Castlemaine while being full of skill development through games and plenty of on-bike practise.

Funded by Healthy Heart of Victoria and Mount Alexander Shire, it will get you where you want to go – library, sports grounds and ice cream shops.

Teens and tweens love the independence a bike brings. That was the impetus for 11-year-olds Scarlet and Indi of Campbells Creek, to attend the On Your Bike! program for teens and tweens in January last year.

Travelling independently is a step towards the freedom that many young people search for and takes pressure off families who have busy parents and after school activities to manage.

“I loved the idea of building up Scarlet’s bike skills so she could ride around independently without having to stick to footpaths,” Scarlet’s mother Fiona said.

“I felt it was important to understand road safety before starting high school and for my own peace of mind.”

The On Your Bike! school holiday program begins with a focus on bike control skills. It also covers strategies for riding safely in and around town.

The aim is to support students to develop the skills and know how to ride safely on roads when they have to, and also to learn how to choose low-risk environments.

Scarlet and Indi both rode to school in Campbells Creek every day and intend to keep this going when they move to high school this year.

“We met a lot of people at the workshop too, and I’ve seen them around town since,” Scarlet said.

Two of the other participants met and found they were going to the same high school and have continued their friendship.

The On Your Bike! holiday program for teens and tweens will run in Castlemaine from 10am-3pm on January 19 and 20 and in Newstead on January 25. Visit CycleSafe Mount Alexander’s Facebook page for details.