Last month a group of about 70 Year Nine outdoor education students, including myself, were given the opportunity to participate in the Coca-Cola Happiness Cycle for 2014.

Set up by Coca-Cola to get teenagers more active, the programme gets students to build a bike – and keep it. The best part was that it was free.

After period three we all got on a bus and headed to Swan Leisure Centre. When we got there we all sat down and listened to a brief of the day and some bike safety information.

We all downloaded the HappiCycle app on our phones. It’s an app which tracks how much we ride, and allows riders to complete different riding challenges.

We were each given lights and a bike lock for our bikes. By this time we were all really excited to start building our bike. We were then given a quick demonstration on how to put the bikes together.

There were two bikes on offer; a hybrid bike and a single speed bike, and we got to choose which bike we wanted. I choose the hybrid bike.  Then we moved to the bike assembly area and with great enthusiasm we began to build our bikes.

Working in pairs we tried to make sense of the instructions. First we had to put our seat into our bike frame followed by the handle bars. The handle bars were deceptively hard to put in the frame – well, they were for me!

After untwisting brake lines and frames we all managed to get our handle bars in. Next came the front wheel. By now our bikes were starting to take shape. The pedals were the last major thing we had to attach to our bikes. 

We went through a final check and the two main bike builders checked each of our bikes, then we got to choose from four different helmets. After our helmets were fitted we could actually ride the bikes we had spent the last hour building!

It was time for our riding journey back to school. Riding back was my favourite part of the whole day. When we eventually got back to school we were all eager to start a riding challenge. Overall it was a great experience – filled with lots of riding!