Teaching Bike Skills with Theatrical Flair
Cascade has recently uploaded new Learn to Ride videos to Youtube and Instagram. The bike riding tips are great, but it’s our lead instructor’s exuberant attitude that steals the show.
Watching Cascade’s new Learn to Ride videos, it’s immediately obvious that Education Coordinator Amy Korver is way more than just a skilled bike rider and teacher. She also has a dramatic flair and joyous on-camera personality.
Chalk it up to her background in community theater. Korver, who began working in Cascade’s Education Department in 2018, grew up singing and acting in middle school and high school in Iowa.
Asked if she was a theater nerd as a kid, she replies exuberantly: “Ohhhh yeaaah. Total theater nerd.”
Lucky for her students.
Korver can be seen in Cascade’s new Bicycling Tips for Beginners playlist on Youtube, an outgrowth of Cascade’s 2021 priority to engage new bicyclists as more people take up riding during the pandemic.
Korver begins every video with a confident, “Hi,” then gets right to the details. The most recent videos, which are roughly three minutes long, cover basic balance drills, braking technique, and pedaling.
Longer videos include tips on biking in the rain, riding with the family, and urban commuting. With reduced opportunities to gather in person, the Education Department has been creating more videos, including a series of Let’s Go curriculum videos for teachers on biking and walking safety for grades three through six as part of Cascade’s work with Seattle Public Schools.
Korver also helped teach youth participants in Cascade's Major Taylor Project last fall.
In addition to helping newcomers to Cascade, the Learn to Ride videos are a resource for previous participants of in-person classes to practice at home what they learned during lessons. Cascade has continued its in-person Learn to Ride courses with one-on-one instruction during the pandemic, serving mostly women and people of color.
“The videos are small, bite-sized snips that help people feel confident about going out and trying some of these new skills,” says Korver, who oversaw three additional Learn to Ride instructors in 2020.
In addition to Youtube, the educational videos are also available on Cascade’s IGTV channel.
Korver has loved bikes since her childhood on a farm in Iowa. “I didn’t do a lot of biking then because there weren’t a lot of places to bike to,” she says. But Korver vividly recalls being so proud of her cycling skills that she made her kindergarten teacher watch her ride over a small jump. “I was pretty pleased to show off for her,” Korver says with a laugh. “I caught a baby amount of air.”
Korver, who doesn’t own a car, became a daily bike rider after moving to Seattle to attend Seattle Pacific University. Her undergraduate major? Vocal performance, of course.
Cascade plans to resume in-person Learn to Ride lessons by April, depending on COVID-19 conditions. The classes are one-on-one with an instructor and a student, and they are geared for individuals aged 10 and up. Masks are mandatory, participants’ temperatures are checked, classes are held outside, and COVID-19 precautions are followed. The cost for a one-hour lesson is $70 for members, $75 for non-members. Financial assistance is available for those with a lower income.
Learn more about all of Cascade’s education programs at cascade.org/learn.