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Chico teacher takes class on bike ride

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:59:29 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 05 2013 08:27:11 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

A new trend is becoming very popular at one Chico elementary school.
     
Sixth grade teacher Phil Swingle at Park View Elementary School takes his students on bike rides for field trips and at the same time learning about safety.
 
"There's a lot of stuff you can teach about ratios, and there's mathematical things you can learn using a bicycle," said Swingle.
 
At the start of the school year, Swingle began using bikes for all kinds of activities like teaching his class about bike safety or taking students on bike rides throughout the city of Chico.  

So far this year, they have taken field trips to Chico State and Bidwell Park.
     
"There are so many destinations that are accessible by bike that it makes it possible," said Swingle.
        
The idea was sparked by Swingle's colleagues at Citrus Elementary in Chico.  From there he started asking his class to bring their bikes.
    
"It's like having a whole science lab in your backyard," said Swingle.  "You can study what's in the textbook behind the fence of your school."  
    
"I like doing this as a class because it's fun and it's easy to get there on bike than on foot," said Swingle's student, Moises Ospina.
 
Swingle realized he didn't have enough bikes for all 27 of his students, so his father got a couple of damaged bikes on Craigslist. Swingle fixed them up so everyone in his class had a bike to ride.
     
"We looked around for a lot of the simple bikes like single speeds, coaster breaks and cruisers," said Swingle.
     
Swingle got a bike rack at an auction.  He believes this idea should be in every school.
     
"I've had a least one teacher tell me that she liked to get it in place," said Swingle.

Swingle said he tries to get his class riding their bikes at least twice a week.