Remember when your grandparents had to walk to school, uphill, in a blizzard, both ways? The National Center for Safe Routes to School has been working for more than two decades to bring that time back — but not so school children can have stories to pass on to their future grandkids. Walk and Bike to School Day on October 4 (first Wednesday in October) is about getting up and moving. And it’s not just for children. We encourage your elected officials to walk and bike, too!
National Walk and Bike to School Day - History
Fat tires were introduced
Schwinn’s spring fork and fat tire became the standard for mountain bikes.
Cars gained in popularity
To combat the fact that motor vehicles were becoming more popular than bicycles, the Kids Bike was invented, a 65-pound machine that mimics motor vehicles.
Bikes got pedals
Before, riders moved forward by pushing their feet along the ground.
The first bike was invented
Karl von Drais invented the laufmaschine, or pedal-less “running machine.”
National Walk and Bike to School Day Activities
1. Decorate your bike
Don’t just pull your bike out of the garage — ride in style! Add star- or heart-shaped reflectors to your tire spokes, attach blinking lights, or even thread some LED lights through your spokes.
2. Find a group
Even if you live far from school, you can still play along. Some schools have designated starting points, and others host walking events right at school. See who else is participating near you, and join in.
3. Bring a friend
Once you’ve decked out your bike and found your group, invite your neighbors and friends! Walk and Bike to School is all about community.
5 Biking Facts You Won't Believe
1. Do you bike backwards?
Andrew Hellinga of Australia biked 209.77 miles backwards.
2. How far do you mountain bike in a day?
Adrian Ellul of Australia mountain biked 359.02 miles in a day.
3. How much did you spend on your bike?
Sothebys New York sold British artist Damien Hirst’s “butterfly bike” for $500,000.
4. How many will be on your bike bus?
The United Kingdom’s Hackney Council and partners got 938 riders on their bike bus.
Why We Love National Walk and Bike to School Day
A. It gets our kids moving
Walk and Bike to School Day promotes movement and exercise. Being active every day is just one way to promote healthy families.
B. It puts safety first
By focusing on bikers and walkers, Walk and Bike to School Day shows our cities just how important safe pedestrian pathways are. Find an event near you to walk or bike with a group.
C. It’s growing
Last year was the largest Walk and Bike to School Day in history. This year, we can beat that record.