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National Bike To School Day – May 17, 2023

Introduce the kids in your life to the joys of biking this National Bike To School Day, held on the third Friday in May each year. People come together to celebrate a healthier lifestyle and get a little exercise before class. This event builds off the excitement of National Bike Month (also held in May) and the popularity of International Walk to School Day. 

History of National Bike To School Day

Bikes have been around for a long time, since the 1800s, in one version or the other. Early inventions came from France, but the modern bicycle was designed in England. 

 

Throughout the 1800s, bicycle designs were worked on, although they were called ‘velocipedes’ back then. News from Paris influenced the American bicycle craze, which began in 1868 and quickly spread to major East Coast cities. The world’s first cycling newspaper, “The Velocipedist,” was published in New York by the bicycle maker Pickering & Davis. Around the same time, more than 250 different bicycle patents were filed in the U.S. Interest died out by 1971, only to be revived almost five years later. With all the innovations by different manufacturers, bicycle designs had come into their own, and a safety standard was slowly starting to set in. New types of bikes were born for every purpose and customer.

 

Today, globally, there are twice as many bicycles as automobiles. Bicycles also outsell automobiles three to one. Bike paths have been constructed across many places in the U.S. and the government encourages bikes as an alternative to automobiles. 

 

The very first National Bike to School Day took place in coordination with National Bike Month on May 9, 2012, and 49 states held local events that encouraged children to bike (or walk) to school safely.

National Bike To School Day timeline

1860s
We Have a Name

The word 'bicycle' is coined in France to describe a new kind of two-wheeler with a mechanical drive; before this, our contraption went by various names, including 'velocipedes.'

1885
John Kemp Starley Designs The Safety Bicycle

It has two same-sized wheels for safe riding (at a lower height) and can be stopped when the rider puts their foot down (unlike older models where only dismounting would do the trick).

1903
A Most Famous Bike Race

The Tour de France is established, and it becomes one of the biggest tests of endurance out of all the sports.

2008
Biking In The Olympics

Bicycle Motocross (B.M.X.) becomes a sport at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

National Bike To School Day FAQs

What is National Bike To Work Day?

In the middle of National Bike Month, the U.S. celebrates National Bike to Work Day on the third Friday in May. 

Is biking to school good?

Children who bike (or walk) to school have higher physical levels throughout the day. This activity can help fight childhood obesity and support healthy growth.

Is biking safer than walking?

Bicycling with appropriate safety gear and on a recommended path is definitely safe, provided you maintain a level of alertness too. 

National Bike To School Day Activities

  1. Get moving

    Get your kids to school on a bike and encourage them to continue with this tradition. Don't have wheels? Borrow some or go ahead and walk. The key is to celebrate movement before, during, and after school.

  2. Invite more participation

    It gets a little lonely when you are biking by yourself. So invite your kids' friends and other neighbors to participate too. They can chaperone and set a good example at the same time.

  3. Encourage student participation

    Entice more participation by running fun social media contests. For example, students can post pictures of their bike rides to school (or around the neighborhood) for a fun, bike-related prize like a bike bell, cool helmets, water bottles, etc.

5 Important Facts About Bikes

  1. Bikes are cheaper

    They cost less, and they are 20 times less expensive to maintain than a car.

  2. The most popular bicycle model

    The most popular bicycle model is the Chinese Flying Pigeon; there are almost 500 million produced in the world.

  3. It is a popular sport too

    Specifically, road bicycle racing, which is the second most popular sport in the world.

  4. Bikes are energy efficient

    The energy and resources used for one car can be used to create almost 100 bicycles.

  5. Reducing accidents

    Experts believe if we tripled the number of cyclists, road accidents by motorists and cyclists would halve.

Why We Love National Bike To School Day

  1. This day connects communities

    People bond over common issues and build their own community.

  2. It's healthy

    Not only is movement better for the body, but it can also introduce a strong sense of self-confidence and school spirit.

  3. This day connects us to the world

    Children can experience the world, feel the air, and appreciate things they wouldn't usually notice when inside a car.

National Bike To School Day dates

YearDateDay
2022May 20Friday
2022May 19Thursday
2023May 17Wednesday
2024May 16Thursday

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