May is officially Bike month. For most riders, that means Bike to Work month. But as you’d expect from a blog that focuses on family cycling, we like to remind folks that it’s also Bike to School Month!
Despite unseasonably cold and wet weather the majority of the month, 86 kids at our school have already completed their online logs for an impressive 517 bike trips to school. We’ve counted more than 100 bikes at morning dropoff twice already, and that’s with the sucky weather. These kids are kicking ass.
Today the focus around town will be on the grownups riding to work for the F5 Bike to Work Day — Cascade is promoting a ride with the mayor and photo-op at City Hall, F5 is sponsoring feed and swag stations all over town, and there’s a big after party in Ballard – but that’s OK, because we’ve got the Bike Fairy!
We may not have Cliff Bar passing out samples, but we do have the magical Bike Fairy pedaling her single-speed around the neighborhood while handing out prizes (blinkie lights, stickers, tire levers and the like) to lucky students as they make their way to school each Friday.
We weren’t sure how the kids would react to a “bike fairy” bearing gifts, but she’s been a well-received Friday tradition this month (in fact, by second week, the kids had it figured out and were waiting for the Fairy when she arrived –so much for keeping a low-profile!)
If this terrible weather holds, we’re not sure what tomorrow will bring in the way of student-commuters (we find the kids are enthusiastic in terrible weather, but often their parents, and this includes us, are not). But even a small turnout out is OK, because we’ve still got plenty of Bike to School time this year.
From personal experience, the build up to Bike to Work Day is great, but things sort of fall flat the rest of the month. People get their free Power Bars and all the water bottles they can carry, and then maybe keep riding. Or not. Sometimes people fall off after a downturn in the weather. Or maybe it’s the lull after the big day. But for whatever reason, it’s common for rider to leave the month with less oomph than they start.
Thank heavens our lack of corporate sponsorship means that our kids don’t have to recover from a mid-month letdown. As far as they are concerned Bike Month is really a month. That means we still have a week an a half to encourage even more kids to ride, a chance for our annual doughnut meetup, and another visit from the Bike Fairy. Keep your eyes peeled. Maybe you’ll see her in your neighborhood.
-Tim and Anne
More local Bike to Work and School Action:
- Totcycle is running a Kidical Mass (“fun, safe, and courteous”) kids/family ride from Ballard at 5:45. meet at the Bell.
- In a wonderful post, Bikejuju shows us how Bike to Work means something completely different in rural Africa with “Biking to Work to Sell Charcoal.”
- Seattle Likes Bikes has a wrap up of the unfortunately poorly attended Ride of Silence. Cascade Bicycle Club doesn’t consider this event part of Bike Month, but it should.
- Paul at Bike Intelligencer takes a look at the cyclists at F5 Networks, the main corporate sponsor of Bike to Work Day
- mid-morning updates below …
- Kent’s Bike Blog makes a Bike to Work confession, and revisits the reasons why some of his readers say they do or don’t ride to work.
- and more to come…