Report Back from the Youth Bike Summit 2017

Pittsburghers travel to DC/VA for YBS17. From Left to Right: Julie Mallis, BikePGH, DeVaughn Rodgers, BikePGH, Dave English, Lane Spotter, and Doug Riegner, Allegheny Trail Alliance

BikePGH’s Positive Spin tool kit shared at the 2017 Youth Bike Summit

The 2017 Youth Bike Summit (YBS) was a great time for Positive Spin to attend, present, learn and connect with others across the country. BikePGH’s Education Program Manager and Education Program Coordinator (Julie and DeVaughn) co-presented the Positive Spin curriculum and programming as a “Train the Trainer” style workshop during the first session.

“Train the Trainer”

Positive Spin presented the workshop as a way to disseminate the brand new Positive Spin toolkit to a wide audience. With this toolkit, a school administrator, an organization leader or an individual can start their own youth cycling program. The toolkit provides lesson plans, curriculum, activity sheets, and guidance on carrying out important safety tips and lessons for youth group rides.


During the workshop, the audience could practice teaching the curriculum and infuse their own personality and style to it. The goal was to show each participant how to implement Positive Spin in a way that works for them, as the toolkit is adaptable. Any organization, community, school or neighborhood that wants to start its own youth cycling program for their constituency will be the best experts at adapting the toolkit to meet the needs of the youth in their area.

The workshop presented 4 main topics crucial to Positive Spin: bike safety, civic engagement, long-distance navigation, and basic mechanics. The audience split into four groups, and instead of Julie and DeVaughn teaching everything, they assigned each group a prompt and a lesson to review, that they would then be responsible to teach to the rest of the group. After Julie and DeVaughn presented about BikePGH and Positive Spin in Pittsburgh, each group had to train the rest of the group on their particular topic area. 

With the positive reception by the enthusiastic audience, the workshop was a success. Workshop attendees represented national and local organizations, such as WABA, BikeNYC, BikeCleveland, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and People for Bikes. Attendees left with the very clear knowledge of what it is that BikePGH and Positive Spin have to offer, and were able to receive the Positive Spin toolkit (via google drive) to implement and share amongst their respective programs.

About the Positive Spin Tool Kit

The toolkit was developed to share the successes and resources of Positive Spin with any individuals, organizations or schools looking to start their own youth cycling program. With an emphasis on fun, safety, mentorship, civic engagement, leadership, skill-building, and collaboration, this program is both practical and exciting.

The toolkit includes information necessary to implement the program in whatever form best suits the location site or community. By making the curriculum as versatile and accessible as possible, it can be more widely used and implemented for any organization. Positive Spin has seen much success and enthusiasm with the program in the last 8 years operating as a partner of Pittsburgh Public Schools. By opening it up to the public, Positive Spin is creating more opportunities for bike safety education and youth-driven advocacy. This program has been implemented during weekly after-school sessions, during daily summer programming, and as bimonthly half-day workshops. After helping City High Charter School successfully implement the curriculum using Pittsburgh’s bike-share system, Healthy Ride, it was time to share the tools with an even larger audience.

Assembled “Multi-Tool Paper Doll” – One of the many activities available in the Positive Spin toolkit!

About Positive Spin 

Positive Spin is a youth cycling program of Bike Pittsburgh, designed to teach youth how to operate bikes safely and navigate through city streets, trails, and parks. Positive Spin pairs adult mentors with youth to complete bike rides and creative advocacy projects, empowering youth to play active roles in their personal health and the vitality of their communities. Positive Spin was established in 2010 as a select program for Pittsburgh’s Summer Dreamer’s Academy, a free summer learning program intended to combat the effect of summer learning loss. Positive Spin aims to engage, motivate, and empower under-resourced youth to create positive community change through exercise, education, and advocacy. Youth make positive choices that will have a lasting effect on the wellness of the individual and the community.

Want to learn more? Interested in implementing the toolkit? Contact

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