Does your child’s school have a bike education program? It is absent from my children’s curriculum, but maybe it shouldn’t be given the results in of school-based cycling programs in Wales. According to Treehugger:
From bike traffic schools in Santa Cruz to bike commuter guides, a little education can go a long way in helping people overcome their fear of adopting two-wheeled traffic. (Let’s not forget the one most important tip for staying safe on a bike either!) But an innovative program in North Wales seems to be way out in front in getting people to rethink the bike. It’s even claiming a three-fold increase in the number of kids cycling to school!
My isolated mountain school may not be the typical example of an American educational institution, but not a single child rides their bike to school, although a substitute teacher does sometimes.
Sustrans is responsible for the “innovative” program in Wales. Working in 24 schools, this organization runs Bike It to try and change the statistic of only 2% of children cycling to school.
Bike It Officers work with pupils, parents and staff to help them overcome whatever it is that is preventing them from cycling to school – by organising cycle training and bike maintenance sessions, helping to install new bike sheds, contributing to classroom work and providing information about safe routes to schools.
According to Bike It, the average journey to school is three-miles. Many parents might think this is long way to send their child to school on their bicycle, but if all towns had separate bike lanes and more children were cycling, safety and health would be promoted. We live ten-miles from school, so I don’t think my child will be riding her bike, but it is certainly something we can do to go visit our neighbors.
We are looking at houses and one of the main things I want is walking/biking distance to his school. Granted we have a few years before he will be in school but I really want him to be able to walk to school. I have friends who drive their kids 3-4 blocks to school and pick them up every day. Its a total waste, no wonder the childhood obesity rate is what it is these days.
This is such a neat idea!!
We do need to create a bike culture. Unfurtunately in some cities (I’m talking about my country here), we should begin with a riding culture as well.
Thanks for sharing!