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Old 04-26-10, 11:27 AM   #1
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Remember riding to school?

That was pretty common when I was in grammar school back in the 60's, and pretty uncommon in the areas I go through these days. Check out the bike racks in the picture here, it looks like they're trying to make it more common these days.
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Old 04-26-10, 06:55 PM   #2
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we used to ride to school almost daily in the 80's & early 90's
by the time i got to highschool, it wasnt as good of an idea (theft) so we just walked.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:03 PM   #3
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Biking was pretty common in my grade-school. We had loads of bike-racks, and once the weather got warm - was pretty hard to find a spot to lock up your bike.

Moved to a new city by time I got to high-school and it seemed like biking was less common, I can't even recall if my high-school had bike racks or not. I think a lot of teens get caught up with the allure of getting their license and being able to drive to school.

First Univ I went to didn't seem to have many cyclists - a large portion of the student body commuted in from the suburbs around, and even by car - lots of people commuted upwards of 1-2hrs to get there.
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Old 04-26-10, 07:48 PM   #4
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...it looks like they're trying to make it more common these days.
http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/saferoutes/
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Old 04-26-10, 08:09 PM   #5
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My 16 year old son bikes 1.5 miles to school daily. Much faster than walking.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:09 PM   #6
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I use to ride to school in the 9th grade. Our schools were 1st-6th was a separate school, 7th-8th was a separate school (too far away), 9th was a school by itself and then high school. It was too uncool to ride in high school. 9th grade was about 10 miles away and I rode my beloved Mongoose California BMX bike every day. Well, until I broke my arm jumping a ditch.... 30 years later and I'm still paying for that stupid mistake.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:23 PM   #7
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That was pretty common when I was in grammar school back in the 60's, and pretty uncommon in the areas I go through these days. Check out the bike racks in the picture here, it looks like they're trying to make it more common these days.
Yep. Pretty much every day from the age it was first allowed (uhh... 10 years old in my town) through junior college. That covers most of the '70's in my case. I went through 4 or 5 bikes in that time- outgrew a couple, had a couple stolen. The bike racks at school were always crammed full.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:43 PM   #8
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i live across the street from an elementary school with about 350 students. The principal is a friend and a mountain biker, and she's tried to get the kids to ride (rural area turning suburban, light traffic but heavy concentration of Starbuck's-guzzling cell phone-using soccer moms). She used some of her discretionary money last spring to buy racks to hold 50 bikes. Maybe a dozen times, I've seen one bike in the rack. Today there were two, and i was all pumped up, but one of them was the principal's.
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Old 04-26-10, 10:44 PM   #9
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I grew up in Manhattan, so no, I didn't cycle to school. But kids did here in Maplewood. They don't now. So we're organizing Bike To School Week this fall. Right now, kids need permission to ride to school. Oy. But we won't fight that policy.
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Old 04-26-10, 11:04 PM   #10
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My 11 year-old son rides every day (about .6 miles), a couple of those with a saxophone strapped to the rack. He loves it, as it gets him there and back much faster than walking. Out of 300 kids only about 50 ride each day. Sad for Southern California, really.
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Old 04-27-10, 03:57 AM   #11
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My 11 year-old son rides every day (about .6 miles), a couple of those with a saxophone strapped to the rack. He loves it, as it gets him there and back much faster than walking. Out of 300 kids only about 50 ride each day. Sad for Southern California, really.
To be fair, it can get pretty hot here in SoCal. I know I'm a little hesitant to start commuting when the temperatures could spike as high as 120F come the summer, and I wouldn't blame any kid for wanting a ride instead, especially when you start seeing the temperature rise around April or May.
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Old 04-27-10, 04:12 PM   #12
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Rode my bike in the 60's when I got my Stingray in the fifth grade. Junior high was too far to ride a bike, I think I did it a few times until my friend's mom gave us a ride. In high school, I rode my bike or skateboard to school until I started driving. Also, the smog was terrible in the 60's in LA. There were days we had to stay indoors because our eyes were burning.
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Old 04-27-10, 07:19 PM   #13
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I started riding my Christmas Stingray to school at the ripe age of 6. About a mile through traffic. Continued through until high school. My dad's Schwinn Continental got stolen from high school Had to ride a woman's 3 speed Raleigh my senior year. Not much dating happened.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:43 PM   #14
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It was half a mile to the bus stop. When I was late, I started taking my bike instead of walking. One day I missed the bus, and just kept going. It was only 5 miles, but quite a good downhill. Once I did it once, I kept on doing it. Now my kid takes the bus to school a half a mile away. I've got to work on that...
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Old 04-27-10, 10:56 PM   #15
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To be fair, it can get pretty hot here in SoCal. I know I'm a little hesitant to start commuting when the temperatures could spike as high as 120F come the summer, and I wouldn't blame any kid for wanting a ride instead, especially when you start seeing the temperature rise around April or May.
This is the root of the problem, far as I'm concerned. i know this is geezer talk, but i lived in SoCal until I was 12, then moved to the Central Valley (hotter, plus humid). We rode every day, at least until the kid down the street got his drivers license. I'm 65 now, and still enjoy exercising in the heat, though I tend to get wobbly after an hour or so at 100 now. most school commutes are short, no more than a mile or a mile and a half. Even for a kid on a cruiser, that's maybe 10 or 12 minutes. No reason the fat lazy little slackers can't ride.
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Old 05-03-10, 03:05 PM   #16
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This is the root of the problem, far as I'm concerned. i know this is geezer talk, but i lived in SoCal until I was 12, then moved to the Central Valley (hotter, plus humid). We rode every day, at least until the kid down the street got his drivers license. I'm 65 now, and still enjoy exercising in the heat, though I tend to get wobbly after an hour or so at 100 now. most school commutes are short, no more than a mile or a mile and a half. Even for a kid on a cruiser, that's maybe 10 or 12 minutes. No reason the fat lazy little slackers can't ride.
The trouble around here in Los Angeles, there are too many idiot drivers around that don't watch for kids on bikes. When we were kids, most kids either walk or rode bikes. Nowadays, a lot kids get rides from schools which add more cars around schools. A lot of parents rather jump into their giant SUVs instead walking their kids a couple blocks to school.
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Old 05-03-10, 06:14 PM   #17
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I have encouraging news. Three of us from the local bicycle coalition met with the supervisor of Phys Ed (PE) in my school district. There are 6,000 kids here. 32 PE instructors under this woman. She is so enthusiastic about teaching cycling as an activity and also bike commuting. And we're helping.
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Old 05-03-10, 07:43 PM   #18
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I think my son would be just fine with the idea of riding his bike to school. It would be my wife who would need convincing.
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Old 05-05-10, 11:01 AM   #19
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I remember riding to school. I lived in a small town then and made a daily commute to an elementary and junior high school that was only five miles from home. Lots of other students did this and the bike racks were so full that I had to lock my bicycle to a nearby fence post. Students were sent to high school in larger, surrounding towns which involved a long bus ride. I rode my bicycle a few times in the 20 mile commute. Most high school students who commuted by bicycle were very few in number either because they lived locally (in the town where the high school was) and walked, were dependent upon the bus system, or got lazy when they obtained their driver's license and commuted in cars.

College was a different story. Living on campus with the community at my doorstep, I could just walk to classes but rode to various places around the nearby town. When I had more free time, I took recreational rides in other towns. I also ventured out on a nearby abandoned railroad corridor in which the rails had been taken up but the various bridges were intact. In winter, I continued to enjoy the corridor on cross country skis.

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Old 05-05-10, 11:35 AM   #20
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Nope. I lived 8 miles from school, and the commute had a grade descending into a canyon. Mom worked at the school though so we'd get rides with her.
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Old 05-05-10, 01:05 PM   #21
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my oldest son has been going to school by bike since grade one.. I carried him on my frame, then he got his own bike and started riding along with me... then in grade 3 he started going on his own once in a while, grade 5 he asked me to let him go alone everyday, now grade 11 he says if God meant ppl to walk, he would not have invented the bike....

His younger sister and brother do not ride very often.

I ride everyday, rain or shine, sun or snow to where I teach. there are 4 of us that do this. and about 50 kids that ride in good weather....
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Old 05-05-10, 09:40 PM   #22
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There was just one year where we lived close enough to school where my mom let us bike. I remember it well; 6th grade in Orlando, FL, 1992-93. Middle school got out just in time to inevitably be caught in the daily afternoon thunderstorm. Oh yeah, and we had one rather old fashioned helmets that the kids liked to jeer about as they rode by on the bus.

But it was fun, since it meant that my sister and I could stop by 7-11 on the way home and waste our money on Slurpees and the World Heroes video game they had. I think we lived close enough that the school system required that we walk or ride a bike. There was a rather nice fenced in bike corral, and all students were required to register their bike with the office, so there was rather little worry about theft.

The next year we moved up to Virginia, and we lived too far from the school to be allowed to ride bikes in (plus that was the beginning of my "couch potato" phase - out of that now, promise!). Going to make up for that now by biking to work!
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Old 05-06-10, 12:45 PM   #23
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I recall back in 1952, I was 12 years old. My grandmother hit me with a brand Western Flyer bike. It was a ballon tire, 26 inch wheels, and with horn, signal lights and everything. The kid across the street, his mother got him a Shelby, and since we were both learning, we ran into each other!!

I use to sneak out of school early and then come back to school profiling on my bike.

Last year I rode pass the school on my present bicycle and on my motorcycle.


Dam, that was a long time ago.

Now, here I am now, trying to get back into bicycles.

BTW, I don't ever want to grow up!!

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Old 05-06-10, 03:10 PM   #24
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I rode my BMX bike to school in elementary school. There are elementary schools every couple of miles where I grew up, so there weren't really buses. The elementary schools are still always packed with bikes, even when it's raining. There's only a few in the winter months though..
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Old 05-06-10, 03:46 PM   #25
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That would make you 70 years old this year, cehowardGS. I'm glad to have you among us!
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