Why we ride: part of a healthy lifestyle
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
For the Staebler family, riding to school and work is one of the benefits of their recent move into the city. Having previously lived outside of city limits, they are now enjoying this new aspect of living in a walkable part of the city. While they now enjoy walking and riding their bikes more for transportation, this is not the start of a healthy lifestyle for Debbie, Bryon and their two children, who enjoy the outdoors and being active as part of their daily routine.
Debbie, a stay-at-home mom, who also works part-time, enjoys the fresh air and exercise of riding her bike with her 3 year old to pick up her 6 year old from school. This 2-3 mile round trip lets Debbie and her kids get fresh air and also avoid the car pick up line. Debbie estimates that this allows her to pick up her older daughter about half an hour earlier and save time waiting in line. While Debbie plans to take a break from the daily bike ride school pick-ups during colder temperatures, her husband Bryon has invested in rain / cold weather gear so that he can continue riding the <2 mile trip to work each day.
It can be challenging to travel by bike with young kids, but this family has an interesting setup. Debbie rides a mountain bike, while her younger daughter sits on a small seat (with its own handles and foot pegs) in between the bike's saddle and handlebars, and her older daughter rides on a tow-behind bicycle attached to the back. They have repurposed trash cans attached to the rear rack to use as panniers to carry backpacks and other items.
Debbie and the kids' ride home from school demonstrates that biking (or walking) to and from school doesn't have to be 'all or nothing'. If you can only pick up or drop off via bike, or only do it on certain days of the week or month, that's fine! If you live too far away or in an area that's not safe for walking and riding, you may even consider parking further away and walking or riding the rest of the way. Any amount of fresh air and exercise is a good for you and sets a good example for children and others. I was personally inspired by Debbie's daily ride to pick up her daughter from school, so I now sometimes ride to school to pick up my children as well.
What would it take for you to be able to have a more active commute to or from school or work? If you need any advice on selecting a route or finding the right gear to enable you to walk or bike to school or work, please don't hesitate to contact Columbus Bike Co-op (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our two local bicycle shops: The Bicycle Station and Columbus Cycling and Fitness are also great resources for bikes, gear and advice on routes.