I saw this video on Copenhagenize last week. Wouldn’t it be nice if biking to school in America was that pleasant? I love the shots of really young kids riding on their own.
May is National Bike to Work Month in the States. In the Seattle area, Cascade Bicycle Club sponsors dual events—Bike to School Month and Bike to Work Month—that coincide nicely with the arrival of our spring riding weather. Another biking family from our local elementary school is heading up the effort at our school. Tim and I are helping them out a bit—mostly with the kickoff event at the end of April. It’s fun to get to know another family that uses bikes as transportation.
Hopefully our community of family bikers will continue to grow. Just last week I saw a guy with a brand new Xtracycle dropping his kid off at preschool: both father and son had big smiles on their faces. I didn’t have my camera with me or I would have snapped a photo of them.
We’d like to see a lot more kids and parents from the neighborhood riding to school next month. Our seven-year-old is really looking forward to riding pushing her bike up six hills every morning and riding down all six in the afternoon. We’re not waiting until May though, we’re going to start this week. We normally walk to school in the morning and I pick the kids up on the Xtracycle in the afternoon. But all this talk of biking to school has inspired her to get going a little early.
How about you? Any plans you want to share for Bike to Work or Bike to School month?
I’m David Hembrow and I shot the video above here in Assen in the Netherlands where we now live.
Note that the video was taken on a cold day ( -2 C, 28 F ) in April, and that this is the normal sight that you see outside every Dutch primary school, every day of the year. Virtually all kids arrive by bike. They also go on school trips by bike with the teacher, and my younger daughter who is in the last year of primary school is looking forward to a school cycle-camping trip in a few weeks from now before leaving primary school.
Secondary school children cycle anything up to 20 km (12 miles) each way on their own to get to school and home again.
We are running a Study Tour in May in order to show campaigners, designers and any interested people how it is that the Netherlands, and Assen in particularly, has grown such a cycling culture.
You can find details of the tour on our website:
We will be visiting one school, and riding past several others. Also, we’ll be looking at routes for commuters, leisure etc. More journeys are made by bicycle in this city than by car. Bicycle journeys are more direct and interrupted by fewer traffic lights etc. than car journeys.
We have move photos and videos of Assen here:
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That is the coolest sight I’ve seen in a long time!
Isn’t funny that in countries like ours (U.S.A & Australia) we are constantly told that “bike paths are not practical”, “we can’t afford to slow the traffic”, “THIS CAN”T BE DONE!” and so on. and on and on…
The OHS representative at my previous job (A man responsible to 100’s of people) tried to discourage me from holding a ride to work day breakfast. He claimed that cycling to work could be an unsafe act! (We did it anyway)
He was right though. In our car loving culture people on bikes aren’t given much consideration.
I couldn’t help noticing how the bicycle traffic was so smooth and considerate.
Family Cycling is the seed of growth for more biking in America!
You should help start a Kidical Mass ride in Seattle! We started it Eugene just this month and it’s growing fast.
Shane – You’re right about family cycling. There is so much room for growth – it’s exciting to be part of such a positive movement. The more families out there riding the better! Kidical mass sounds like so much fun. Thanks for sharing.
Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.
Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.
If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.
So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.
Just go to my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylstevenson and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don’t forget to ask to link to my network of more than 7,000.000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.