This year, on May 4th, my oldest daughter’s school celebrated bike to school day. My husband and I got voluntold we were running this event. “Join the PTA!” they said. “You get to do fun things!” they said. Fun things apparently means waking up at 5:00 am to set up a table in the still cold morning and giving kids who show up on bikes treat bags that we spent all night making. (Disclaimer: Seriously, the PTA does great things! Support yours!)
All sarcasm aside, my husband and I were actually quite excited to be in charge of this day, and we tied Star Wars Day into it (as it was on May the Fourth …. Be with you), giving an extra treat to all the kids who came wearing or bearing Star Wars propaganda.
We had over 1/3 of the school participate, even though it was a bit rainy and not warm. But more importantly the kids really got into the spirit. Here are some quotes I was able to capture from the kids as they pulled in:
“Biking is exercise, but it’s FUN exercise.”
“It took less time to bike here than it did to ride the bus because we didn’t have to stop on every corner!”
“I like bike to school day ‘cause I got to get a new helmet ‘cause I’d outgrowed mine and it has a cat on it.” (This comment was made by a kindergartener who apparently kept her helmet on all day. Safety first, especially when safety comes in cute cat helmet form).
“I forgot how much fun bike riding is since it has been winter for so long. I want to take my bike back out after school today.”
“My dad rides his bike to work. I want to do that too.”
These comments, especially the last one, made the early, cold morning totally worthwhile. Getting kids to appreciate biking at a young age will help reinforce the benefits that will last a lifetime.
If your family has bikes, use them as a family. Anytime you need go anyplace within five miles of your house, bike there. Bike to popular public events, where you’d end up parking a mile away anyway. Bike to dinner or ice cream. Bike to a park and have a picnic. Bike just for fun, with no end goal. Get your kids to realize the practical, personal, and environmental impact so hopping on a bike becomes second nature. I’m not just pedaling.
Do you have a kid who loves to bike at your house? Why not share this sweet story about Poppy the bike and how he helps kids learn to ride which appeared in Ladybug, our literary magazine aimed at kids ages 3 to 6 and their families. Perhaps it will inspire everyone in your family to get outside and take a ride.
Cricket Media Mama just rode six miles, uphill both ways. She’d like to think of a witty send off for this blog, but just like her bicycle, she is two-tired.