Growing up, I never lived close enough to school to walk or even ride our bikes. I feel like I missed out on a part of childhood because of that. Maybe Hollywood has glamorized bike riding childhoods (Sandlot and Now and Then) but I have fallen for it and want my kids to experience the adventure too. So this last week, our 4-year old started preschool and we rode the 1.1 miles there on our bikes. It was everything I had hoped it would be— family bonding, adventure (we saw a snake!), saved some gas, and got some exercise.
If you live within a few miles of your school, why not try leaving your car at home and jumping on your bikes. If you don’t have bikes, check Craigslist or the Salvation Army for some (we just got both kids practically new bikes for $4.99 each!).
5 Reasons you should be biking to school
1. It’s fun! Riding bikes is an instant endorphin booster. It’s freeing to feel the wind on your face and smell the fresh-cut grass as you pedal past homes. It makes you thankful that your legs are strong enough to ride a bike — because some days we forget that others can’t. Yesterday, our 3-year old (who rides in the bike trailer) yelled at me to stop because she could see a deer. So we stopped for a few minutes as a deer drank from the pond and cars blazed past us. Time stopped for us and it was awesome.
2. It’s good for the environment. Trading your gas-guzzling vehicle for your own little legs is a simple way to help the environment. Start with once a week. Pick a day and make it bike riding day and explain to your kids why you are choosing to do this. If we want our kids to change the world one day, we have to plant the seeds.
3. It’s exercise. 1 in 3 American children are overweight. Screen-time has replaced playing outdoors and we need to get these kids moving! By bike riding to school, the whole family gets exercise (except the little ones who can’t ride that far yet).
4. It helps the community. The less cars that are on the road and backing up the drop off/pick up line at school helps everyone. Not to mention the inspiration that it brings to other families— we have 2 other families in our community who ride their bikes now because they saw us doing it. Not to mention how we have gotten to know so many neighbors and parents at Jackson’s preschool all based on the conversation of us being the “bike riding family.”
5. It saves money. Every time you opt out of driving your car, you save money. It’s estimated that is costs between 20-30 cents per mile to operate a car, so for us we save $3 a week biking just to preschool (which is almost equivalent to a coffee date at Starbucks). If we rode bikes to school for an entire year, we would save $160, just to get you thinking. I know it’s not a ton of money, but it is something!
The photos placed throughout this article were from Jackson’s first day of preschool. I wanted you to see how it can be done and how much fun it was (seriously!). This was Jackson’s first time being in any sort of preschool, so it was a pretty big day for our family. Yet it was a great day— and a big part of it had to do with the ride there and back.
Did you bike to school?
How did you get to school when you were kid? Did you walk, bike or drive? Comment below.