Volunteer your cycling skills in Hamilton!

biking guyIf you’re an avid cyclist but you missed this opportunity before – do not fear! The chance to help with a cycling initiative in our community still exists.

Cycling-to-school initiatives are important components of planning for sustainable transportation and transforming the way a region moves. School programs designed to encourage cycling (and/or walking) present a meaningful and consistent opportunity. They combine physical activity with travel, and contribute to students’ transportation preferences – behaviours that can be carried on into adulthood. Factors that promote cycling to school include physical and social support, ongoing involvement of teachers and community partners, opportunities for new experiences, and the perception of cycling as normal behaviour.

The new program that is being organized for St. Mary’s is adding to the existing movement among schools and communities, encouraging more active transportation. At St. Mary’s, many students live too far to cycle to school, but cycling may be a viable option in their own neighbourhoods and in their school community. To help students gain the skills, confidence, and comfort to ride a bike for transportation, the team is looking for McMaster student volunteers!

Are you interested in helping plan and implement cycling activities over the course of the school year? There will be a meeting at the end of September/early October to discuss ideas and create a rough timeline of events. Exact meeting date/time is TBD, and the location is St. Mary’s Secondary School – a 10 minute walk from McMaster. Ideal candidates should be interested in cycling, working with youth, and developing their own leadership skills. One or two students will have more of a coordinating type role, while the majority of volunteers will work on specific events, such as leading group rides along trails. Commitment may be as low as two hours per month, or up to two hours per week if desired. For more information and to receive confirmation of the meeting day, please email Katie.wittmann@metrolinx.com.

-Written in collaboration with Katie Wittmann.