School Food Tour… math?

Question: ONE School Food Tour + ONE Garmin Edge 800 = what?

Answer: Endless possibilities!

I am pleased to announce a partnership between the School Food Tour and Garmin. For you non-cycling readers out there, Garmin makes a variety of GPS units for use on bikes that calculate speed, elevation, cadence and much more. Garmin also sponsors a reasonably speedy bike team that wears some pretty sweet argyle in a little race through France…

 (<—-You know. These guys.)


So how will a Garmin improve the Tour?  

Data, data, data. I’ll be using an Edge 800 model; this unit provides mapping, elevation, heart rate, distance, graphs, routes, speed and so much more. All of this information will be integrated into both my classroom visits and the virtual School Food Tour curriculum.

The Garmin Connect website provides a powerful interface and great visual tools; if a class wants to know what the elevation profile of my route through Arizona looks like, we can simply open up the website to learn more.  I have a middle school here in Bend, Oregon that is conducting an entire School Food Tour math unit. They will be integrating my Garmin data into their daily classes where they will calculate speed, distance, calories burned and gear ratios, among others.

Even non-cyclists will find the Garmin a useful resource. My routes will be clearly defined and you will be able to examine the terrain, speed and distance that I travel daily. Enjoy this great video overview of the Edge 800 and some of its fantastic features:

Thanks, Garmin, for your generous support!

Expanding reach – A virtual Tour?

I am equal parts enthused, inspired and overwhelmed at the number of inquiries for Tour participation that I have received so far. Thanks so much to everyone who has been in contact! I have chatted with individuals and communities from all over the country – from New York to Montana – all eager to become involved. Unfortunately, there is a limit to the number of miles and amount of communities that I, simply one girl on her bike, will be able to visit while on the Tour.

However, I think I’ve come up with a solution – virtual Tour participation!

Here’s my vision: Interested teachers/organizations can utilize my ‘Virtual SFT Handbook’ (in development) to incorporate the Tour into classroom lessons. This document will provide guidance on integrating the Tour into various school subjects. For example, a math class might examine velocity or gear ratios while a health class could calculate calories expended or discuss heart rate and metabolism. More long-term projects might include the evaluation of bicycle and walking infrastructure near the school (i.e. sidewalks/bike lanes) or examining the nutrients in their school meals.

Most importantly the virtual handbook will include the same goal-setting exercises that are a cornerstone of the real-time classroom programming. The students will develop a plan of action and then regularly update me on their progress towards both collective and individual goals.

Conducting a ‘virtual Tour’ will also provide me with great opportunity to steer teachers to more comprehensive curriculum resources such as Nourish’s Food+Community or Michigan’s Safe Routes to School Make Traxs program.

I’m really excited about this new concept and plan to continue developing the ‘Virtual Tour’ idea. Stay tuned!

And just for fun – it has been ridiculously sunny and unseasonable warm here in Oregon. Here’s a photo of me working in the sunshine!

Final timeline & pilot testing

This week: My timeline will be completed!

(I’d like to add that projecting how far and how fast one will complete various legs of a bike tour a whole 1 year prior to departure is a laborious task and not to be undertaken lightly… I’m pretty sure route planning will prove to be more difficult than actually riding the Tour!)

Additionally, I had a super successful meeting last week with a local middle school. The staff are really enthusiastic about the Tour and keen to get their students involved. I am lucky that the teachers are also willing to give me some feedback about the curriculum. The end result is going to be productive, exciting and interactive classroom sessions. Fantastic progress!