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  1. #1
    I need skills
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    I need an adjective.

    It is bike to work week and my 1st and 3rd grade kids wanted to ride their bikes to school.

    We live 2.5 miles away, two busy streets need to be crossed. We did it. The kids easily climbed a very steep and long hill I was worried about. The boys were incredibly proud to wheel up to school in view of their friends.

    The adults we saw upon arrival at school were amazed. They couldn't seem to wrap their minds around the fact that someone biked to school. The administrators were positively pleased that the boys had done so, they thought it remarkable (that was cool).

    I realize I've made an error by not riding with them to school much earlier and intend to do so often in the future. I will ride with them to school, my wife can ride home with them until we feel comfortable with them riding alone.

    When I was kid people riding bikes to school was not remarkable nor even a distinguishing characteristic.

    This morning introduced me to a wide array of thoughts, feelings and ideas.

  2. #2
    Wierdo
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    Well done!

    I remember biking to school when I was a kid. School was about 1.5 miles away, and I had to cross two pretty busy streets. I never thought twice about it, just did it, and so did a lot of other kids.

    I wonder when along the way biking to school became the exception...

  3. #3
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    Boooyaaa.

  4. #4
    Still want a fat bike....
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    Well done!

    I remember biking to school when I was a kid. School was about 1.5 miles away, and I had to cross two pretty busy streets. I never thought twice about it, just did it, and so did a lot of other kids.

    I wonder when along the way biking to school became the exception...
    Agreed Woodway..... I always rode my bike in good weather. Didn't really when it was cold, but I was a shade over a mile and rode all the time. The bike racks were always full. I intend to get both my kids riding for transportation as soon as possible so they learn that cars are not everything. I never asked for a ride to school if the weather was nice enough to ride.
    I am a man of many words. KCCO!

  5. #5
    Bedwards Of The West
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    It's crazy that it's odd or out of place for kids to ride bikes to school. I bet I had a better commute record in grade school than I have now. I bet a solid 40% of students rode to school.

    But good stuff for doing it with your kids.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  6. #6
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    Cycletastic!

    There is a nationwide program to encourage this stuff. Here in VT it is very active in some areas. Cool stuff like a "bike train" to school with rotating parental escorts.

    From About Safe Routes
    What is "Safe Routes to School"?
    Safe Routes to School is a nationwide initiative whose goal is to get more kids walking and biking to school by making it safer and easier for them to do so. The program was founded in the 1990s as it became clear that rates of walking and biking to school had dropped precipitously in only a little more than a generation. The federal government now provides hundreds of millions of dollars of funding nationally every year to school districts, communities, and nonprofits that work to promote Safe Routes goals on a school by school basis.

    Safe Routes work is guided by what are known as the Five E's: Engineering, Enforcement, Encouragement, Education, and Evaluation.


    •Engineering refers to any changes to the physical landscape at or near schools that make walking and biking safer and easier, from new sidewalks and crosswalks to speed bumps and other traffic calming devices
    •Enforcement covers everything from crossing guards to speed limit enforcement to safety patrols
    •Encouragement includes a range of strategies for promoting more walking and biking, including walking school buses, bike trains, punchcards and other incentive programs, and maps of best routes to school
    •Education refers to efforts to both educate students, staff, and community members about the importance of walking and biking and build students' skills as safe walkers and bikers
    •Evaluation closes the loop with parent surveys, tallies of student participation in walking and biking, and other tools for assessing how good of a job the program is doing at addressing barriers to walking and biking
    For more information about Safe Routes, visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

  7. #7
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    Nice job.

    Nobody got rides to school when I was a kid. I intend on having my kids get to school under their own power.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I wonder when along the way biking to school became the exception...
    right about the same time that they removed metal swings from playgrounds and spanking became abuse.

  9. #9
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    ^ +1, and when they took gym class out of the curriculum and stopped letting kids play dodgeball since it might hurt their precious egos if they lost or weren't picked first.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  10. #10
    weirdo
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    Awesome, CJ! It`s great that between you and your wife you`ll be able to esecort them back and forth until you`re comfortable with the kids riding by themselves- hope the plan works out.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnson View Post
    I realize I've made an error by not riding with them to school much earlier and intend to do so often in the future.
    Much earlier? If they`re in 1st and 3rd grades now, it isn`t like you missed a whole lot. But you`re rolling now

  11. #11
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    There is an absolutely depressing article in the most recent Bicycling magazine about school districts and the nation in general and their reluctance to let kids ride to school at all from an administrative level. Going as far as preventing students from locking their bikes at school or on fences and providing no bike racks.

    It is awesome that you have done so with your kids! I hope that some day when mine are old enough to be able to do so as well.
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  12. #12
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    Bicycle-icious? Trend setting? Cycle-logical?

    BrianMc

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I walked to school when I was little, and living in New Zealand. We lived on top of a big hill. No idea how far it was or how long it took me. There was a stair case with over a hundred (if I remember correctly, this was from when I was 8 to when I was 11) stairs. I'm 30, for the sake of when this was.

    I had one bus to ride to middle school, and did that.

    I picked up bike riding again when I was in high school. I'm not sure what my rate was, it varied depending on what after school activities I was doing, whether or not I was going to the gym, etc. Initially, I had a 5 mile route through a park and along a separated MUP. Over time, I switched to about a 3.5 mile route over a steep hill and through city streets. There were a couple other guys who rode to school, but not many. There was one fence on top of a retaining wall that we pretty much all used. I don't remember any other places to lock a bike, and we didn't generally think it a safe place for a nice bike, or a saddle secured by a quick release.

    In college, I was almost always either a walker or bike rider for my commutes, depending on whether I was living on- or off-campus at the time. Bikes were popular for getting around on campus, but I found there was enough messing around at each end when I rode that I might just as well walk, much of the time. And my dorm was relatively close to my department.

    I think that people scattering out into the 'burbs is problematic, especially when it's the crappy new ones with no services. Then it takes a big commitment to walk or cycle anywhere. As an adult, I've tried to live places where I could walk to buy groceries, and I've tried to find work relatively close to home, so that cycling in is feasible and not incredibly arduous. I think a big part of succeeding at something is setting one's self up for success, so I make an effort to do that. I think we as a country are setting ourselves up more and more for dependence on cars. People even drive their cars somewhere to ride road bikes now! Which I've never done, of course.

    A couple years ago, I was trying to get a series of Sunday rides with my friends off the ground. It wasn't a total failure, although success was limited. We met at a park that's convenient to my house, and cycling routes. Standing around at the entrance put me near the parking lot, and I got to see another cycling club using it to meet to. Very funny. While I'm sure some people rode in, it didn't seem to be the pattern - people rolled up in their cars, got their bikes out, got their floor pumps out, and topped up their tires. It was a whole little ritual, performed in the parking lot. A lot of what I like about road cycling is that I don't need to drive somewhere to do it, usually I can just go from home. (And I like butyl rubber tubes, I top them up once a week maybe.)

    Anyway, hopefully the present popularity of cycling is going to re-mainstream it. That'll really be better for everybody.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    There is an absolutely depressing article in the most recent Bicycling magazine about school districts and the nation in general and their reluctance to let kids ride to school at all from an administrative level. Going as far as preventing students from locking their bikes at school or on fences and providing no bike racks.

    It is awesome that you have done so with your kids! I hope that some day when mine are old enough to be able to do so as well.
    I've been aware if this trend for awhile. I remember the gradeschools I attended having "walkers" but if there was a big street crossing you were not allowed to walk (or ride a bike). My middle school was rather far removed so nobody walked or rode, but my high school was closer. I did not have a decent bike then, but I occasionally walked about 2 miles or more. I remember one morning actually running to school because my car wouldn't start. I made it to class on time.

    I have since encountered schools that allow and even encourage kids to walk and ride their bikes. For me, if I have to go less than a mile, it is a walking trip, so going anywhere on campus is a walk even when I have the bike that day.

  15. #15
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    My son has been wanting to ride to school lately. We can't always do it, because we carpool with a neighbor. But we do when we can, or we'll take his bike in the car and then I'll ride over in the afternoon and ride back together (we don't carpool coming home).

    But there are not that many kids that ride to school. Then again, there are few students that live farther than about a mile away. I see maybe a dozen bikes on the racks. That's another thing - the racks are not designed for kids bikes, and they're crammed behind the dumpster and a shipping container storage unit. It seems the school doesn't really want to encourage bike riding. Yet we have nice paths around here, we only have to cross two busy streets, one has a pedestrian bridge and the other is in front of the school with crossing guards.

    As a kid, from first grade through junior high, unless it was raining or well below freezing, I rode my bike to school, and I had a busy street to cross with no crossing guard. Different town, different time, I guess.

  16. #16
    sofa king awsm
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    Lots of kids are too fat to ride to school. I blame their fat-ass parents.
    Baby, I want my face to be your quiver killer.

  17. #17
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    What really gets me is how schools are pushing the bus on people. You have to take the bus no matter how far you live away, and if you want to walk or ride your bike to school you have call and cancel the bus and they give you a hard time about it. Its crazy.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigE610 View Post
    What really gets me is how schools are pushing the bus on people. You have to take the bus no matter how far you live away, and if you want to walk or ride your bike to school you have call and cancel the bus and they give you a hard time about it. Its crazy.
    Not crazy if you remember that the more kids ride the bus, the more money the school district gets for transportation costs. Every time someone cancels bus service, they loose money and won't get it back weather they need it or not. The district doesn't get a dime for kids that walk or bike or get a ride from parents. At this point it's not about the kids, it's about finance.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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