The Safe Routes to School Technical Assistance Provider team is growing! Recently, Becky Newman was hired as a Program Coordinator for Cycle Oregon. She will be helping out with the ODOT SRTS bike education, including the Jump Start program. We asked Becky some questions to learn a bit more about her.

– Name, title, and organization  

Becky Newman, Program Coordinator, Cycle Oregon

– Why did you want to become an SRTS technical assistance provider?

I used to be a public school teacher, and for the last 6 years, I’ve operated a bike shop with my partner, so this position seemed like the perfect blend of my professional experiences. I live in Portland and I get to see a vibrant, multi-modal transportation scene every day that involves people of all ages, across neighborhoods. I love it. The opportunity to support communities around Oregon as they also promote bike and roll options for kids and families is super exciting to me.

– What are you most excited about?

Bringing bike fleets to rural school districts is so wonderful! This part of Jump Start is pretty new so I am learning a lot, and we have a lot of room to try things, collect feedback, and work with educators and community leaders to see what’s working and what needs improvement. I’m most excited to keep bringing new schools into the program and to see the impact on the kids in those schools. We’ve already heard from lots of PE teachers that their students—sometimes 4th & 5th graders—are learning to ride a bike for the first time through the Jump Start program. For me, that is the most inspiring piece of this work so far. 

– Do you have any favorite memories of walking or rolling to school? 

I grew up in the country, so I rode the bus to school. Because our neighbors were nearly a mile away, my siblings and I relied on our bikes to be able to play with other kids and explore. I realize a lot of kids these days don’t get to experience that much autonomy at a young age—to get to roam around with other kids and make your own fun. So I really cherish that part of my childhood–how much freedom I was afforded by my bicycle. 

Welcome, Becky! We are excited to work with you!