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Thread: Skeletons...

  1. #1
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Skeletons...

    When I was a kid we always rode our bikes to school and on most spring and summer days and it alwaysseemed as if there were as many rack spaces as there were students.

    I have been dismayed to pass by so many schools to see that the bike racks are all but empty and looking rather skeletal and in other cases, some schools seem to have removed a lot of their bike racks.

    I guess that more and more people are driving their kids to school which makes the school area a fairly risky area for younger riders and this is just a vicious circle... folks might want to take their kids to school by bike but don't feel safe because of all the cars so they drive, which adds to the congestion.

    Because it serves noting to piss and moan about things my girls and I took our first ride to school today and saw that we filled a few spaces in the racks and what was probably notable was that we rode 40 city blocks to get there.

    It did not take much longer to ride by bike than it does to take the bus and the girls were pretty energized after their 3 mile bike ride... they are at an age (9 and 11) where they can handle themselves and their bikes really well and in many cases, we take the lane as they can also maintain a pretty good speed.

    I think I will talk to the school and see if they can promote and even stage a ride to school day and I'll offer free tune ups for anyone who needs them.

    I'd like to see those racks get filled up.

  2. #2
    GATC
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    There's not a lot of racing car traffic by my 7 yr old's bike rack, I guess 'cause the school's main parking lot is on the diagonally opposite corner of the building. The down side of that is that the exterior doors by the parking lot are the ones they take the most pains to leave open, the ones by the bike rack are the ones they take the least pains to keep open/most pains to lock up at times that are definitely inconvenient to us. I think he's the only daily biker right now but that'll change by Memorial Day for sure. Not that there's a lot of school left by then...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    A few years ago I was doing contract work. I rode a lot more and at all times of the day. There were many many routes that were very nice.... Except during rush hour, then they ranged from not so nice to outright dangerous.

    I think that does a lot to work against biking to school. Where I went to Grade school a standard back route for commuting goes past 2 sides of the school. That means 3/4 of the potential bike riders have to deal with that nastiness. It may be that it is not too bad right at the school, but I know it is only a couple of blocks away.

    For me biking was out of the question. I was too close. With the bike rack on the far side of the school from me it meant almost doubling my distance.

  4. #4
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    I live across the street from an elementary school in a rural area that's turning to suburbs. the school has about 140 students, and when my kids went there in the '80s, there were usually 50 or so bikes in the rack (none of the students lives more than three miles away). Over the last few years, that's dwindled to none most days, occasionally half a dozen on the first nice day of spring.
    The principal is a friend and a cyclist, and last year we sent home flyers encouraging kids to walk or ride to school and offering a Saturday bike clinic where we and a few friends would fix flats and make minor repairs "to that old bike in your garage." We thought we might get a couple of dozen bikes, and we planned to push riding instead of being dropped off in the SUV.
    Only two people showed up, and the following Monday just one of those rode to school. When the day was over, his mom picked him up in the Denali to save him the half-mile ride home.
    Gee, I can't understand why we have an obesity problem....

  5. #5
    GATC
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    This is reminding me of the grade school my son would have gone to if we'd stayed in the house he was born in; it was off a 4 lane divided highway. No bike racks at all I bet. Not even walkable.

  6. #6
    Member ChiTownCyclist's Avatar
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    When I was a kid, I almost always rode my bike to school. Granted, it was only about 5 or six blocks away and I could have walked, but it was always more fun to ride. Back then, the bike racks out front were always full. When I go past that school nowadays there are no bike racks at all.

    I often wonder sometimes if the "problem" is fat, lazy kids who wouldn't know a bicycle if it fell on them or parents who are worried that perhaps their kids might get kidnapped or molested. I know my ex-wife won't let my son ride his bike to school, even though it's only two blocks away. Nope, he must take the school bus
    Last edited by ChiTownCyclist; 04-20-09 at 04:10 AM.
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