At the 2017 National Bike Summit in Washington, DC earlier this month I learned about many new and innovative bike programs happening around the United States. One of the programs that caught my attention dealt with the intersection of neuroscience, bikes, and kids.
Mike Sinyard, founder of Specialized Bikes, suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a disorder that many kids in our communities struggle to overcome. Mike credits bicycling with helping him overcome the limitations imposed by ADHD. This allowed him to gain the life skills that eventually led him to found one of the largest bike companies in the United States.
Mike wanted to share the healing power of biking with other kids who suffer from ADHD, so he founded the Specialized Foundation’s Riding for Focus program. Riding for Focus uses lessons from neuroscience, physiology, curriculum design, and The League’s Smart Cycling program to design and implement an evidence based bike education program. This program provides mental and physical health, academic, and behavior benefits to participants.
Designed for PE teachers in schools, Riding for Focus conforms to national PE curriculum standards and integrates easily into existing curricula. The Specialized Foundation hopes their program will become the national standard for teaching biking in schools throughout the United States.