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Northside teacher Emily Siegmeier begins program to teach kids to ride a bike



Northside students in La Crosse tried out ramps and obstacles during a learning session in March of 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

When kids learn to ride a bicycle, it’s often something they pick up at home or, at least, away from school.

At one elementary school in La Crosse, however, a physical education teacher has launched a program to help students get on bikes as soon as possible, after they start attending classes.

Teacher Emily Siegmeier started the Learn to Ride project at Northside Elementary/ Coulee Montessori schools in La Crosse.

Siegmeier did it in response to numbers showing that a large number of young students at Northside were not able to use bikes yet.

“I wrote a grant to LPEF (the La Crosse Public Education Foundation)” for the Learn to Ride effort, she said. “It was to get 20 Strider bikes, which are balance bikes, to teach our kinder and first graders the balance and the core strength involved with riding a bike, so they can transfer that skill to a pedal bike when they’re a little bit bigger.”

The grant added up to $5,160 and Smith’s Bike Shop provided the bicycles.

Siegmeier said the goal is to help every student at Northside be skilled enough to ride a bike by third grade.

Some of the students finished a few days of training in the Northside gym last week, learning to ride the bikes over and around obstacles placed on the gym floor.

Training bicycles lined up at the Northside Elementary gym in March of 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Jack

    March 25, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    Parents used to do this job!

  2. Gabe

    March 25, 2024 at 12:12 pm

    Parents used to teach their kids how to ride bicycles.

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