Trafalgar teacher Martin Corbett’s class has been learning how to repair bikes after the school received 38 donations of used equipment. Photo: Tyler Harper

Trafalgar teacher Martin Corbett’s class has been learning how to repair bikes after the school received 38 donations of used equipment. Photo: Tyler Harper

Old bikes find new life thanks to Nelson students

A Trafalgar Middle School class has been repairing 38 donated bikes

Unloved bikes are returning to the road thanks to an initiative at Nelson’s Trafalgar Middle School.

Thirty-eight donated bikes are in various stages of repair by students who are learning there’s more to cycling than pushing pedals.

Grade 8 teacher Martin Corbett says he took on an idea by Principal Paul Luck to introduce a cycling component that has been embraced by his students.

“They’re getting the opportunity to work with their hands very tangibly. They’re getting the opportunity to work together to problem solve,” said Corbett.

“I really thought it was going to be at first a bit more traditional, [like] here’s how to fix a tire. It’s been pretty cool how they really work together and create kind of a bike building community where everybody’s kind of working on something different based off of what the bike needs.”

Corbett’s class is one of Trafalgar’s lifelong exploration courses, which are weekly afternoon classes that are multi-age and offer students choices of more traditional classes like athletics and drama as well as unique topics such as International Cuisine, Maker Space and Robotics, and Green Leadership.

When the semester began, Corbett’s students created posters and wrote a call-out for disused bikes. Even in a city known for its biking community, the overwhelming response was still a surprise for Corbett.

“It’s been funny hearing when people email me ‘hey we have a bike’ and there’s two degrees of connection on how they donated that bike or how they heard about it.”

When the weather is good students go for a class ride once a week, which fits the province-wide push for increased outdoor education during the pandemic.

But the program also makes sense at Trafalgar, where Luck has made student mental health a focus in its curriculum.

Corbett said his students are learning not just a skill, but also how it feels to provide for others. The bikes, after all, are available to all of Trafalgar’s students — even the ones not taking the class.

“I think it’s pretty cool to see the kids know that these bikes are being used by other classes and it’s created a really good school community,” he said.

“I feel like they have a lot of pride behind knowing that they are fixing something for somebody else as well. That’s helping them with their own connection to other people. Personally, I think that that’s where a lot of mental health can start with is just working on your connections within your community.”

Related:

‘An amazing cultural shift:’ Trafalgar Middle School bets on unique band program

Trafalgar class puts up residential school history posters downtown

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CyclingEducation

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

210615
The auto and the bike: A paean to them both

One becomes an extension of one’s self. The other offers the sensation of flight.

Most Read