What a brilliant morning! The sun is shining and it was “Bike It Breakfast” at school, which is held to celebrate the end of “Walk And Cycle to School Week”. The school was also Heart FM’s School of the Day, so the radio was playing in the background (although I think we arrived too late to hear the mention!)
The breakfast was organised by Miss W, the wonderful Teaching Assistant at our school who works tirelessly throughout the year to encourage the kids to walk, scoot and cycle to school.
This year the breakfast was available for us to purchase – in previous years we had to take our own – and this move certainly proved to be very popular.
One word of warning though – a Bike It Breakfast does mean two things:
1) you need to organised, as you’re leaving the house earlier than usual
2) you’re trying to get the kids to cycle before they’ve had breakfast (and if you’ve got children who think a 2 hour gap between food constitutes a famine, this can be a challenge!)
It was lovely cycling up the road this morning with 4 year old T on the back of the tagalong in glorious sunshine, and to have someone else provide my breakfast – if only every day could be like that!
Yummy Bike It Breakfast!
There was a delicious choice of pastries, toast and fruit and the teachers had turned out in force to support Miss W serve to the large number of pupils and parents who’d come to join in the fun. A lot of children had either walked or come by scooter, and a few were on bikes.
During “Walk and Cycle to School Week” the children have been filling in a “Road Safety Diary”, have had a special assembly and today they will receive a certificate and prize if they’ve managed to walk or cycle during the week.
If your school is interested in running a Bike to School Week, there is lots more information on the Sustrans website.
Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need a Bike It Breakfast?
What is sad though, is that so much effort needs to be made by wonderful individuals like Miss W, to help encourage kids cycle to walk, cycle and scoot to school.
I’ve written about this before for Sustrans, but I’ll say it again now – the government needs to start taking cycling to school seriously. Most kids can’t cycle to school because there are no safe routes, and that isn’t going to change until the government puts sustainable transport at the heart of its transport policy.
Only this week the new president of the Faculty of Public Health, Professor John Ashton, has called for parents to be banned from parking near the school gate, as the rise in childhood obesity and depression continues.
It’s not impossible to change the tide – other countries have managed it. In Holland, 49% of school children ride to school every day. In Denmark 45% of all children cycle. Here in the UK it’s just 1-2% (1% in primary, 2% secondary).
Until then, it remains in the hands of countless teachers, parents, Bike It officers and volunteers to keep our kids pedalling – let’s hope they continue to keep up the good work. Thanks guys!