Category Archives: neighborhoods

Confessions of a Bike to School Advocate

Panda enjoying the rideI think I’ve mentioned one or two (or a hundred) times over the past seven years that I’m a bike to school advocate. If you’ve been reading Car Free Days for any amount of time, you’ve most likely surmised that I’m a tiny bit passionate about encouraging kids and families to bike and walk to school.

One message I’ve repeated over the years is how easy it is to bike and walk to school. Since my first kid started pre-school in 2004, I’ve talked about the simplicity and the joy and the fun of biking to school with kids.

But lately, I’ve started to wonder about the ease of this whole bike-to-school thing.  Continue reading

Navigating the Maze of Kid Activities (on bikes)

Bike to laxHave you listened to the latest NPR health story? In Many Families Exercise Is By Appointment only? The story highlights two very different approaches to kids and activities and how their parents ensure they get exercise. Some families choose organized sports, driving kids to various practices and games. Some choose walking and biking and playing outside.

Which is better? To schedule or not to schedule? And if you schedule, how do you transport kids to all of their various activities? By car? Or by bike?

I sometimes take this issue up a notch and start to worry about over-scheduled kids. What about them? Do they really enjoy having that much going on? Don’t they just want to hang out at home on occasion?

If you were blissfully unaware of this problem, don’t fret, you can find books and articles on the subject. You too can read about how to avoid over-scheduling your kids. Then you can sit down and watch a documentary and learn about the perils you will certainly face if you don’t get this problem resolved now. After you have yourself in a tizzy about your kids future, you can go back to news and articles regarding childhood obesity. The grim stats will certainly depress you: 18 percent of kids are obese in the United States. “Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years”

Feeling crazy, confused and on-edge yet? I know I am.

What’s a parent to do? To schedule or not? To relax or worry? Continue reading

Streets are for People! Kids at Play in the UK

I love this video from Playing Out! (Thanks to Sarah Goodyear for sharing it along with her insightful post). Continue reading

Is “Liking” Riding & Walking Good Enough?

2012 Bike to School DayThis week everyone is talking about the Danish study linking walking and biking to school with better concentration.  Kids + walking/biking + education = hot topic, right?

The story has legs and is making the rounds on Twitter,  Facebook, blogs, and news outlets. Everywhere we click (at least in our admittedly bike- & walk-centric world), we see a link to the study.

You’ve seen it, haven’t you?

Like many of you, we get excited about these articles and want to pass the on to our network of friends.

Click! Like! Share! +1!

The resulting flurry of retweets and likes is a good thing, isn’t it? “Hey look here’s a great story. Let’s share it with our friends!” We click and make a difference. And then …. nothing.

For all their worth so many of these stories fade quickly, replaced with the next alt-transpo buzz (like … “e-bikes are coming and they are going to change everything!”). Continue reading

Groceries by Bike: Turn a Chore into Fun

slowbikecart

Carfreedays and Shopping: the Journey to Bikes

Tim and I didn’t always grocery shop by bike.

Before the summer of 2007, other than an occasional walk to the store, we bought and transported groceries exclusively in cars. At the time we owned a bike trailer and we could have used that to grocery shop. But dragging it out of the basement or garage and hooking it up to the bike just to go to the store? Nah, too much trouble; the car was easier. Panniers were the same,  I had plenty of those lying around. But I was a busy mom and shopped for a family of 4, I could barely fit a days worth of groceries in two panniers, let alone groceries for a week.

August 2007, enter two Xtracycles. Those bikes changed everything. Continue reading

Seattle Children’s Livable Streets Open House June 23rd

Are you interested in learning more about the  Seattle Children’s Livable Streets Initiative? Head on down to their open house at Gould Hall on Saturday, June 23rd and find out what they’ve been up to. Continue reading

Bike to School Day

2012 Bike to School Day128 kid bikes, add some parent bikes, 8 dozen doughnuts, much-needed coffee for the parents who don’t like to get up earlier than necessary, police escorts riding with the kids and blocking intersections with patrol cars = successful Bike to School Day.

We hope you enjoyed Bike to School Day and Bike to Work Day!

more photos here

 – Anne and Tim

2012 Bike to School Day