Park path shortcut to school

Park path shortcut to school.

I’ve been encouraging families to walk, bike, skate, or scoot to school for over 10 years now.  And in that time I’ve seen kids we work with grow out of their training wheels now riding on their own to school. They see me at the park or store on weekends and say “Hey, that’s the bike guy!” (or whisper it to their friends and think I don’t notice ;).  I like to think its a bit like Santa Claus, he knows when you are wearing your helmet or riding safely, he knows when you are driven to school.  In the past 10 years I also have had a kid of my own, bought a house,  and got married. Now my daughter (4 1/2) rides her bike to school most days. She tells me she can do it on her own and knows the way. I don’t doubt she does, but I’m still a dad. I still don’t trust all car drivers. I know that little kids aren’t as good at seeing peripheral vision or judging speed of oncoming vehicles as older kids and adults. So my wife or I ride with her and on the sidewalk or park trail. It isn’t always the most convenient for us as her school is the opposite direction as both our jobs. But we think it’s an important thing to do for a few reasons.

1. Instills at a young age the skills and knowledge that she CAN ride to school.

2. Helps wake up the mind and body to prepare for learning. A Danish study “found that kids who cycled or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school.

3. Gives us quality time to talk and ride together seeing our neighborhood at a slower pace and noticing things that we wouldn’t if in a car.

4. Gets me a little extra exercise too.

5. It isn’t as far or doesn’t take as long as you think it does. Trust me. Try it on a weekend and time yourselves, and read more here.

6. Reduce traffic and pollution around school zones.

Coming up on May 9th is National Bike to School Day. I highly encourage you to ride with your kids to school or home from school if its at all possible. If it isn’t, take a family ride over the weekend around your neighborhood, to the park, grocery store, or out to dinner. It will make everyone happier. I promise!

And for those school in Milwaukee Public School System if you hold an event in May you get the chance to win a new SARIS BIKE DOCK for your school!


Contact me if you have questions about what your school or family can do!

Jake Newborn

Youth Education Program Manager




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