Biking to School

National Bike to School Day

National Bike to School Day is the first Wednesday each May. It’s a celebration of kids and families who ride together and the schools, teachers and communities who encourage and support biking.

Why bike to school at all? Biking is a fun, healthy and community-minded way to get around your neighborhood. It’s good for you, your kids, your neighbors, and your school. Biking to school helps kids get active, improves their concentration, teaches them about their world and environment, and gives them a great accomplishment to start their day.

How to get involved

Bike to school

The easiest way to get involved is to simply bike to school with your kids! Ride with them and discover your neighborhood, meet new friends, and show up to school in style. You can check the official website to see if your school is involved, but even if it isn’t, you can still ride on Bike to School Day or any day!

Here are some tips for riding with your kids:

On your own bike

When you ride with your kids on your bike (either in a bike child seat or on a longtail), the biggest difference is the extra weight. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the different way your bike accelerates, brakes, and turns when children are added. Don’t rush into any situations you’re not comfortable with.

In a trailer

Traveling with children in a bike trailer presents some of the same weight issues. The weight of the trailer itself may be a factor as well. Test ride, and remember to attach a flag to the trailer to be sure that it is visible to drivers.

On their own bikes

Kids love riding bikes, and riding with them is a blast, but you can’t be everywhere at once. Make sure that you are “leading from the rear” as a parent. Position yourself last in line, with your kid(s) ahead of you and between you and the edge of the roadway. Go over your communication beforehand and let them know to expect you to call out turns and stops with plenty of notice.

Tell your friends and neighbors

Bike to School Day is a community celebration, but not everyone knows about it! Help make your school and neighborhood a better place to bike by spreading the word.

You can use this handy Tell-a-friend tool to send an email explaining the whole idea. We’ve written one out for you. Feel free to change it or write your own from scratch.

Plan an event with your school

The best way to ensure that your school celebrates Bike to School Day is to help them out. If your school isn’t signed up already, connect with your principal and encourage them to register. You can use the tools on the official website to plan events or connect with locals on the Washington Area Bike Forum to get tips and ask questions.