Safe Routes News May 2009

This is the May issue of the Marin Safe Routes to Schools ENewsletter. This newsletter provides you with monthly updates of the Marin Safe Routes to Schools program, including highlights of the month.

Highlights of the Month
Dixie 3rd Grader Marin County Bike Commuter of the Year
Earth Day Celebration Provides Motivation
Wheels of Motion at Kent Middle School
Punchcard Contest a Big Hit
Neil Cummins Kindergarteners Repair Bikes
Riding With Youth
Register for Safe Routes to School Conference
Register for Walk to School Day


Spring Team Leader Gathering
Tuesday, June 2, 11:30 a.m.
San Rafael Community Center

Dixie Task Force
Wednesday, May 20, 7 p.m.
Miller Creek Library
2255 las Gallinas Road, San Rafael

Larkspur Working Group
Tentative date:
Wednersday, May 20, 3 p.m.

Mill Valley Task Force
Thursday, May 21, 9:15 a.m.
Mill Valley School District
4511 Sycamore Ave., Mill Valley

Novato Task Force Meeting
Thursday, May 21, 7 p.m.
Novato School District
1015 7th Street, Novato

Ross Valley Task Force
Friday, May 22, 10 a.m.
Ross Valley School District Office
110 Shaw Drive, San Anselmo

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Clay and his teacher

Dixie 3rd Grader Marin County
Bike Commuter of the Year

Feisty.  Gutsy.  Determined.  That’s this year’s Marin Bike Commuter of the Year Clay Kaufmann, a third grader at Dixie School in Lucas Valley. Other bike commuters may log more daily miles, but Clay is totally committed, riding daily rain or shine.  He and his father Mark are often seen riding their bikes in the neighborhood as well.

Early in the school year when it became apparent that Clay and Mark had not missed a single day riding the one-and-a-half miles to school, Kel Harris, who spearheads the Safe Routes to School effort in the school district, issued a challenge to Clay: if Clay could ride his bike to school every day through the end of school, Clay would receive a special prize. Clay met that challenge, through good days and bad, including rain and foul weather. Dick Dinkelspiel nominated Clay, and says, “Every day, Clay meets the challenge with a smile on his face, standing for the final sprint along the rolling hills to the school, as though he were on the final stage of the Tour.”

Each year, one person is chosen from each of the nine Bay Area counties to receive a Metropolitan Transportation Commission award in recognition of their exemplary commitment to commuting by bicycle. Clay will be honored at the Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s Bike to Work Day end-of-day party from 4-6 PM at Mike’s Bikes of Sausalito on May 14.

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teens on Earth day

Earth Day Celebration Provides Motivation

Earth Day was celebrated in Fairfax with over 250 enthusiastic walkers and bikers from Manor Elementary, Cascade Canyon, Saint Rita, and White Hill schools.  Delanos Market graciously donated bagels for the “fuel station” situated by the Fairfax Library for the on-going stream of kids and families using their “green peds” for the early morning commute.  San Anselmo parent Brian Bruckner and White Hill students gathered at Drake High School for a two-mile bike ride to the school located on the outskirts of Fairfax. 

White Hill teachers Mr. Brockbank, Mr. Hardin and Ms. Marrero also joined students biking to school, and the Manor and Cascade Canyon contingents, with Team Leader Renee Goddard at the helm, paraded down Sir Frances Drake with colorful signs and contagious spirit.  Earth Day provided the opportunity to plant “seeds” of inspiration for walking and biking to school as reflected in one boy’s remark, “My brain was more awake by the time I got to school; I’m going to start biking more now.”  As a community, we can strive to nurture these seeds so they will continue to grow promoting Earth Day, everyday, throughout the year.

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Kent Middle School teen bike class

Wheels of Motion at Kent Middle School
Kent Middle School students are among the first teens in the county to be introduced to the new Bike Skills curriculum taught by Safe Routes to School Instructors Frances Barbour and Heather Crawford. The new “Drivers-Ed” for teen bikers, was organized at Kent by Team Leader Sabrina Browne and Kate Wing. The three after-school events included an interactive Game Show called Drive That Bike, and cycling skill drills for practicing maneuvers such as making quick stops and turns, and shoulder checks without swerving.  These essential skills were put to use in an instructor-led field trip on Kentfield streets to a local park where the kids were treated to a picnic and games.  Through the support of Vice Principal, Jenny Walsh, Kent is in motion to provide further classes to their students in the fall next year.  

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Wade Thomas's Punchcard Raffle

Punchcard Contest a Big Hit
The spring punchcard is a big hit at schools throughout the county.  Pictured here are some of the 110 students who participated in the contest for Wade Thomas’ raffle at the end of April.  The first reward was a key ring and a Clif Bar fruit twist.  The next two punches earn a charm for the key ring.  The fourth punch got the student something from the grab bag and their name in the raffle.  Every school in the contest raffles off a new bike provided at cost by Marin Bikes and paid for by a grant from Kaiser Permanente.  Ted Fehlhaber & Brian Costello, Safe Routes Team Leaders for Wade Thomas encouraged students through their schools newsletter to “Get to school anyway other than the family car to qualify:  ride your bike, scooter, ripster, unicycle, tricycle, razor, skates, skateboard, pogo stick,  carpool, bus, run, walk, skip, swim??.”

Neil Cummins Kindergarteners Repair Bikes
Michael Taylor’s Kindergarten class at Neil Cummins proved that you’re never too young to learn to maintain your bike.  The class took some time over a four-week period to rebuild a bike for the Neil Cummins Staff.  “We made this bike because it was laying on the side of the school for two weeks so we thought we ought to remake it,” said the students They tore it apart, cleaned, primed and painted it, threw on a new chain and it's a rockin' beach cruiser ready for local trips.  

One student remarked, “I like the bike because we did hard work on it, and it was hard to paint the bike.”  It's definitely not the fastest bike, nor the most nimble, so staff was admonished to please ride carefully. “Remember,” said the youngsters, “cars ALWAYS win”. It's the perfect cruiser to take on a quick trip to Safeway, Peet's or even the Library, and it's much better than driving! Here's what they asked of the staff  ”If it gets a flat, or has any other problems, please let me know and I'll fix it. Please return it to the bike rack after use and please RIDE IT!!! There's nothing worse than a bike that doesn't get ridden. Take care and ride happy.”

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Riding With Youth

Riding With Youth Workshop
Riding with Youth is a workshop that takes adults and students riding together to teach them how to safely navigate streets. Learn about proper equipment, communications, and appropriate behavior. 

Current 2009 Workshop Schedule-
(Check our web site for additional dates.)
• Saturday, June 13 – Mill Valley
• Saturday, September 19 – Novato
• Saturday, September 26 – Mill Valley

Workshops are designed for students in grades 2– 8 with prior on-the-street riding experience. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Both adults and children must have their own bikes.

These workshops are implemented by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. Funding is provided by the Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program, administered by WalkBikeMarin (  To register and to learn more about workshops click here or e-mail

Register for the Safe Routes to School Conference
Sign up now at for the 2nd Safe Routes to School National Conference August 19-21, 2009, in beautiful, bicycle-friendly Portland, Oregon! Register today to take advantage of the early registration rate of $300, which is available through June 15.
The National SRTS Conference will offer standard 90-minute workshops, plenary speakers, mobile walking, biking, and streetcar tours, 180-minute interactive training opportunities that allow for more in-depth discussion, hands-on events, discussion panels, and fun evening events including a parade and a dance party.
Whether you are an engineer, a local level practitioner, transportation planner, academic, advocate, parent, health agency employee, school nurse, non-profit partner, or with law enforcement, this conference will provide valuable information for propelling Safe Routes to School work onto the next level.
Scholarships are available on an as-needed basis. For more information on the conference, including the draft program schedule, and to register, please visit -

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Walk to School Day, October 7, 09
Register for Walk to School Day

Registration is open for 2009 Walk to School Day, an international event where communities from more than 40 countries join together to walk and bicycle to school. Walk to School Day is October 7, 2009.

To register a Walk to School event, click here. Registration is free and available to individuals or organizations holding an event in the U.S. Registered schools will be displayed on an interactive map on the U.S. Walk to School Web site (, where neighboring communities, media and other organizations will be able to view participating schools.

By registering, Walk to School organizers gain access to a variety of downloadable materials, including certificates, templates for printing stickers and a frequent walker punch card. Registrants can also subscribe to a weekly Walk to School e-newsletter with tips and resources on holding a Walk to School event.

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Transportation Authority of Marin


is a program of the
Transportation Authority
of Marin
3501 Civic Center Dr.
San Rafael, CA 94913

Project Manager:
David Parisi

For general
on the Safe Routes
Program Director:
Wendi Kallins

For information on
school activities:
Project Coordinator:
Laura Kelly
415-456-3469 ext. 2#

For information on
school classes:

Project Coordinator
for Logistics:
Peggy Clark
415-456-3469 ext 8#




SchoolPool carpool, walk, bike together









Signal "Turning Right"






cyclist signals "left"























the right and wrong way to wear a bike helmet






Look left, right, left again and behind before crossing.



































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