Category Archives: School

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

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

Talk about Walk & Bike to School programs Thurs!

Walk.Bike.Schools!
Walk.Bike.Schools! is a blog,  meeting (7pm Thursday @ Bryant Elementary library) and (hopefully) a movement to support and encourage parents and kids walking and biking to school.

Our mission (though calling it such seems a little grand right now) is to build a network of parents, neighbors, members of school communities, and yes, students, who can share ideas and energy around the goal of encouraging more kids and families to bike to school—at least some of the time.

Our loose group of ~6-8 parents has been reasonably successful—Bryant won SDOT’s Golden Shoe award for the largest number of students regularly arriving on foot or bike last year. But we know things could be so much better if we could tap into the collective intelligence of other bike and walk programs in our city and learn what as worked (and not worked) elsewhere. Continue reading

Biking to School in the Rain (don’t be a wimp, mom)

IMG_2358We woke this morning to the sound of raindrops pounding the roof and splashing the windows. So hard to accept after the lovely sunny and warm weekend. Yesterday we were at the beach and there were kids in their skivvys playing in the sand and dipping their tiny toes in the Sound. We slathered on sunscreen and sat in the sand eating pizza and drinking beer out of plastic cups (and talked about how summer had arrived).

And today we woke to rain. Really? On day one of Bike to School Month? Can’t we catch a break?

I was ready to ditch the bike-to-school-plan and walk instead. (We only live 5 blocks from school, it’s easier to walk). But we _are_ the organizers and during Bike to School month, we ride. Continue reading

Bike to School Month 2011

Here at Car Free Days HQ, we’re busy with preparations for the fourth-annual Bike to School Month kickoff (this Friday on the school playground).

Bike to School Month Family Bike Extravaganza

look how little...and cute

Four years already?  Seems like just yesterday, we were planning our first event.

Tim and I love planning Bike to School month: it’s become a much-anticipated spring tradition at our kids’ elementary school.  We share the planning and execution with our friends and fellow family riders, Clint and Leslie. Each of us brings the perfect mix of enthusiasm, mellowness, last-minute surprises and creativity that makes the event a super fun spring tradition at our school. And this year we’ve recruited some new bike riding parents who will hopefully carry on the Bike to School month tradition long after our kids “graduate” from elementary school. Continue reading

Wednesday is Intl Walk to School Day (but you can walk/ride all month)

Walk to School, KidsWe’re kicking off Walk to School Month on Wednesday at our kids elementary school with some hot beverages and tasty snacks on the playground.

If you’re so inclined, and with a few modifications to the 7 day plan,  you too can pull off a last-minute event. All you need is some enthusiasm, a few signs, some warm bodies and maybe some food and drink. Continue reading

$1000 Available from Safe Routes to School

Thought I’d pass along some information about 35  $1000 grants that are available from the National Center for Safe Routes to School. The application deadline is April 7, 2010.

Safe Routes to School $1,000 Mini-grant Call for Applications

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (February 26, 2010) – The National Center for Safe Routes to School is now accepting applications for up to 35 $1,000 mini-grants for creative, youth-focused ideas that support safe walking and/or bicycling to school. Eligible activities must occur at an elementary or middle school in Fall 2010 and support the overall goal of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs – to enable and encourage children nationwide to safely walk and bicycle to school…. Continue reading

Biking to School…Without Parents

biking to schoolI spent two fantastic days in Marin, CA this week visiting with old friends and hanging out with their families. Just north of San Francisco, Marin is the epitome of car culture with traffic jams, packed parking lots and streets clogged with luxury cars.

At least they are doing something right with the kids: they get to school on bikes. Continue reading

Walking or riding or skipping to school

Walk&Wheel-brown-crop

October is International Walk to School Month. At our local elementary, we don’t discriminate. Walk, bike, hike, skip or even take the bus. Just don’t drive to school in October!

Our elementary school received a Seattle Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School grant last year. We’re using some of the funds from the grant to host  a Walktober celebration this month. Kids keep track of their “active” trips to school and earn prizes if they make a minimum number of trips by foot, bike or scooter (any way other than a personal automobile).

Basically we’re bribing them.

We should really give prizes to the parents. What do you think would work? massages? coffee? gift certificates to the pub?

Cause it’s really up to the parents to make it happen.

- Anne

Bike to School Month, the Momentum

It’s so great to watch the number of cycling families grow during Bike to School Month.

I have noticed a pattern since we started organizing Bike to School Month last year.  At the beginning of the month, the number of cycling parents and kids isn’t that impressive. This year a dozen or so families biked to school on a daily basis the first week. But as the month progresses, (and the weather improves) more and more families join the fun and start riding bikes to school.Planning our Route

Is it momentum? Is it peer pressure? Does it just look like fun?

Kids see their friends riding to school and it looks like so much fun, they want to do it too. Those kids convince their parents to give it a try. As more and more families join in, the bike racks fill up. And pretty soon bikes are spilling into the garden and being locked to any available stationary object. Sometimes they aren’t locked at all (who is going to steal a kid’s bike from a school playground anyway).

I’m not sure how the momentum builds. What I do know is: I’m still seeing new faces at the bike racks every day(and they’re all smiling faces).

Thanks to all of the parents who have given biking a try. You’re doing your kids a huge favor, and hopefully you’re having some fun too!

Does anyone have Bike to School stories to share?

– Anne