I Started a Bike Bus, and You Can Too

Recruit a crew. One adult isn’t enough to have a safe bike bus, so another parent volunteered to act as the ‘rear axle’, the driver who stays at the back of the group to look out for stragglers and warn of oncoming cars Taxes. Then I texted several friends to go to the center and catch all the baby squirrels. According to Megan Ramey, a Safe Routes to School activist and bike bus driver in Hood River, Oregon, the ideal ratio is one adult to four children.

Plan the route. Ideally, a walking or cycling route would reach the children who live about a mile from the school – far enough away where walking might be an effort, but too close for a regular school bus to pick you up. Our school administrator gave us a card with student addresses; I also started aggressively approaching other cycling parents and getting their phone numbers. Also, Portland has a number of greenways, or neighborhood streets, that prioritize walking and taxiing, with speed bumps, traffic detours, and many painted markers on the street to encourage a safer environment. Many cities have converted stretches of road to green lanes or “slow streets” during the Covid-19 pandemic. If your city or community has done this, consider these routes when figuring out how and when to get to school.

Talk to the kids. Critical mass and other activist organizations that host large-scale bike tours have developed many techniques to manage cars. One is “corking,” when a cyclist or two blocks an intersection, bringing crossing traffic to a standstill until every cyclist has passed safely. However, with young children, it is best to keep it simple. The cycle bus should stay on the right side of the road and children should be told not to ride in front of the bus driver. Most importantly, adults keep their cool and don’t freak out when a child is too busy having fun to give them that much attention.

Just show up. We’re all working parents, we’re all busy, and kids are unpredictable. And right now children of all ages are being hit by waves of respiratory illnesses like RSV, flu and of course Covid. We started our bike bus in October and while there were some weeks with 20 children, there were other weeks when everyone was sick. Every week, rain or shine, I send a message to the Bike Bus group reminding everyone of the upcoming schedule. People need to be able to trust you to take their kids to school.

It takes a village

Speaking to other advocates who had started their own bike and hiker buses, I was shocked at what starting or running a bike bus meant to different people. For Luke Bornheimer, head of the San Francisco Bike Bus, it’s heartening to see kids taking control of their lives in a way we simply haven’t seen since the pandemic began. That’s probably why people get emotional when they see it.

“Kids are really brave and smart and strong, and they understand it,” says Bornheimer. “You learn to drive responsibly and have fun. We’re just giving them that opportunity.”

https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-start-a-bike-bus/ I Started a Bike Bus, and You Can Too

Zack Zwiezen

USTimesPost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimespost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button