by Amy Agapito
When spring starts making the days better and warmer, I think about riding my bike! Actually, I get really excited to get on my bike and ride on the Riverfront Trail, as well as on mountain bike trails. I also like to ride my bike to different places around town. Sometimes I ride my bike to get ice cream, and when I can, I even ride my bike to work! If you have kids, the perfect day to get your kids on bikes is Bike to School Day, Wednesday, May 4th. Make plans with your neighbors and friends to all ride together. Plan your route so everyone will be safe. Use the City of Grand Junction map section to help you choose your route. For route maps, click here.
Be sure to check the School Walk Routes box in the legend area, and zoom in on the map. The routes are color-coded with green routes being the safest way to get to school. Orange and yellow routes are your next best choices. Click here for the map legend to understand the color coding and get some helpful safety tips for walking or riding to school or around your community. Zoom in on your school and start planning your route! Wouldn’t it be great to see your bike rack at school look like this one!
Of course, you don’t need a special day to ride bikes to school — Make it a habit! Ride bikes to school often! I would suggest beginning a tradition of riding once a week and working up from there. It’s a great way to get the blood pumping so that young brains can soak up all the great stuff they’re being taught at school. Studies show that exercise and learning go hand in hand!
Good habits start young and stay for life. There is no better time than now to think about staying fit and healthy. Riding bikes to school is one small step in the right direction. The neighborhood kids can ride together to keep each other safe if there’s worry about arriving at school safely!
There are lots reasons to ride your bike to school. Five stand out for me:
1. It’s fun! Going kind of fast is fun, and can make you laugh and smile. What a great way to start the day.
2. It’s healthy. Riding your bike can help you start healthy habits that can stay with you for life. We all need physical activity to stay healthy. Regularly riding your bike is a fun way to keep that activity in your life.
3. It creates a cleaner environment. Even a few cars less on the roads around schools can keep the air cleaner! I bet you didn’t know that pollution around schools at the beginning and end of school can get quite bad with all those cars waiting to pick up kids. Riding bikes to and from school would help make the air around schools cleaner!
4. It promotes safety. The more people using the sidewalks and bike lanes, the more the community, will support improving those resources. The more the resources are improved, the safer it will be to ride bikes or walk to school.
5. It improves community. More people are outside, and it creates a better sense of community. There is less traffic congestion, and you can get to know your neighbors a little better. Maybe you’ll even find a new friend to ride with!
Make a point of riding with your kids to school on Wednesday, May 4th. The school bike rack could look like this!