Cycling Schools is a volunteer operated program in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park designed to provide a day
in the Park for students from urban schools. During their day in the Park students will be fitted with helmets and bicycles,
instructed on how to safely ride a bicycle in a group, and then led by experienced volunteers on a ride on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath.
The students are divided in to groups of 6 or 7 with each group led by two volunteers.
As the groups ride the Towpath the volunteers will point out features of the park including locks, wildlife and historical landmarks. Groups will stop at various points along the trail where the guides will describe the operations of the boat locks, the history of the canal, locate areas where frogs, snakes, beaver, herons and even Bald Eagles can be found. The rides last between 2 and 3 hours and cover 10 to 15 miles of the Towpath.
Snacks (usually carrots, celery, raisins) and water are provided by the volunteers during the ride
and there will be at least one rest stop per hour on the ride. Students are given a banana at the beginning of the ride
and encouraged to eat it before riding to insure that each student has some nourishment to begin with.
A lunch break is planned for around noon. The students are to bring their own lunch.
At the end of the ride the students are expected to wipe off their bikes and return them to the Hub where volunteers will store them.
Teachers are encouraged to bring their own bike and accompany students on the ride. For teachers that don't have their own bike a limited number of adult bikes are available. Parents are encouraged to ride too if they bring their own bikes. The Towpath is a flat "easy" ride and the distances and speeds that the groups travel should be comfortable for adults and students alike.
Cycling Schools ride days are planned for two weeks in May and one week in October. Each year 15 to 16 schools are selected for the program with about 600 students participating. More than 100 volunteers assist with the program each year. Cycling Schools has been serving urban schools in NorthEast Ohio for more than 20 years. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org