Starting Los Angeles’ first bike bus
When speaking with Coach Sam Balto a couple of weeks ago, I already knew he was on to something special. I had watched the video above of his “bike bus” in Portland, Oregon, and also listened to his interview with Active Towns.
For years, I’ve biked my kids to school, and now my 4 year old bikes herself to school, which is always the highlight of my day.
My mornings biking my 2 and 4 year old to their preschool are so full of joy that I want other parents to experience it. Even more importantly, I want other kids to feel the joy and sense of independence that my daughter feels on her bike.
That’s why I’m going to make an attempt to start the first bike bus in Los Angeles. With the support of the principal of Melrose Elementary (he’s willing to distribute the flier below and find a place for kids to part their bikes at school), we’re going to do the first one on Tuesday, November 15, at 7:40am (we’ll leave by 7:50 to make sure kids arrive at school on time)— our meeting spot is on Willoughby, in front of Poinsettia Park. From there, it’s 5 blocks to school, probably a ~5 minute ride.
Will this work? We’ll see… it might take a minute for us to get critical mass, and we may need to experiment with different meeting spots or times. But I can tell you for sure that Tali and I will be there waiting for others to join!
MELROSE ELEMENTARY BIKE BUS
What is it? It’s an event where kids bike themselves to school, and parents bike with them and keep them safe.
Why? Because getting to school should be joyful for kids! It’ll build their independence and also have them move in the morning, proven to help concentration. Lastly, you get to avoid the car valet line!
What do I need to participate? If you want to ride with us, just show up on your bike. Your kid needs their own bike and needs to be able to bike independently well (ie. I wouldn’t make this their very first ride). That’s it! As we grow, you’ll have the option of dropping off your kid and knowing that other Melrose parents will make sure they get to school safely. And if you want to ride the first one with your kid on your bike, that works too!
To RSVP for the first bike bus on November 15, please fill out this form.