The power of your own two feet

Posted & filed under Life.

Here are my kids (grades 2 and K) going to school using contraptions that wonky people call “active modes” of transportation.


Back in, say, 1969, people just called them “bikes.” But listen to this: Back in 1969, about half of children walked or biked to school. By 2009, that number had fallen to 13 percent.

bike-2-adHere’s another factoid: Kids who walk or bike to school have better powers of concentration for at least four hours. Which, if you know anything about kids, should not be surprising at all.

This is how I came to be at work one day writing a bad “knock-knock” joke. I was working on copy for an ad promoting Walk and Bike to School Day and the Safe Routes to School program: “Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Legs. Legs who? Legs go, it’s Walk and Bike to School Day!”

My kids are lucky. Not because Dad knows good jokes, but because most of our route to school is along one of Eugene’s great bike paths. The rest is a quiet neighborhood street. Not everybody has it that easy. Fortunately, Safe Routes staff are continually working to improve connections between neighborhoods and schools. They also teach bike-safety classes to kids, organize “walking school buses” and promote “active modes” through events such as Walk and Bike to School Day.

Here’s Springfield’s Safe Routes coordinator, Emma:

bike-3-emmaAnd you can help:

  • Volunteer to help chaperone one of the on-street rides that concludes every Safe Routes sixth-grade bike-safety class.
  • Donate financially to Safe Routes to School.
  • And on Oct. 8, Walk and Bike to School Day, leave the car home and try getting to school with your child using the power of your own two legs. It’s fun!
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