Think back to when you first learned to ride a bicycle. How did it happen for you? Did you have a bike in your family that you learned on, or did a neighbor have one, or was it something else? I don’t know about you, but it’s not something I learned in school. It’s also not something that most of my friends learned in school, either.
How cool would it have been if you did, though? Even if it wasn’t something that you continued doing later in life, bicycling can teach important skills. Balance is obviously one of them—and it’s absolutely a massive help if you ever want to ride a motorcycle one day in the future. Hand-eye coordination is another. Also, simply finding a way to get outside and enjoy the outdoors in a way that resonates with you is an invaluable life skill, no matter your age.
All those reasons and more are why Yamaha Motor Corporation USA and its Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative got together with All Kids Bike to start two new programs with Los Angeles Unified School District schools. With the help of a $100,000 grant from Yamaha, All Kids Bike established two of its Kindergarten Learn-To-Ride PE programs at 74th Street Elementary and Virginia Roads Elementary.
Gallery: Yamaha and All Kids Bike - LA USD Schools 2023
Besides showing up with a fleet of shiny new Strider bikes, helmets, bike racks, instructor bikes, teacher training and curriculum, and more, the AKB and Yamaha folks also brought along some of Yamaha’s star two-wheeled roster for the handover. Champions and all-time greats Eli Tomac, Ryan Villapoto, Damon Bradshaw, and Brian Lopes all went to the playground to help these kids get out and try two wheels for the first time.
“You never forget when you learned to ride a bike, and I’ll never forget seeing how excited these kids were when we showed them the fleet of shiny new bikes and gave them a first ride. We’re here to help raise awareness for the All Kids Bike program and to get people excited about bringing this program to more schools in Los Angeles and across the country,” two-time Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450MX champion, four-time Pro Motocross 450MX champion, and 2022 Motocross of Nations winner Eli Tomac said in a statement.
“Riding bikes is one of the most fun things you can do when you’re a kid, and it’s also a really important skill that gives you confidence and a sense of freedom you just can’t get any other way,” he concluded.
The All Kids Bike program started in 2018, with the simple mission of giving children across America the opportunity to learn to ride bicycles in school. With substantial help from the Strider Education Foundation, the program aims to help all kids achieve this goal. To that end, it introduced a new and more inclusive Learn to Ride program aimed at helping middle, high school, and adult learners with developmental disabilities join in the fun and excitement of learning to ride a bike.