Thursday, November 5, 2009

the most exciting biking pic of all time

Like many dealing with the strike, sisters Napol (front) and Alice Wills get ready for a new way home from Central High School.

The pic above has to be the most exciting biking pic of all time: school kids riding bikes. What can Philadelphia do now to encourage this kind of travel for our city school kids? Obesity among our young is at an all time high. Kids standing on street corners smoking cigarettes and waiting for city buses SHOULD be a thing of the past. The article goes on to tell about a young man walking 8 miles to get to his magnet school. This strike should be a call for all who manage the streets of Philadelphia to get into high gear and start making bike lanes from school to school in Philly.

I live outside of Philadelphia, a small town with ZERO infrastructure for biking. When my youngest son was in grade school, he wanted to bike to school. So we did. We had to bike on a 4 lane highway, navigate very narrow no shoulder roads and finally we got to school. There was no place to lock his bike. Finally we found some metal post around the back of the school. The school janitor saw us at the end of the school day and he said he wondered how the heck my son's bike got there.

Why is it that biking and walking to school is now looked upon as an unsafe activity for kids. Schools do not want to be liable for kids biking to schools. Well yes, the way our stupid roads have been built, I would worry too, but it is HIGH time our communities get into action and make biking and walking to school a reality. Portland, Oregon has some great bike lanes into the city. But for the suburban kids and country kids, there is nothing on the horizon. My county, Chester, is a prime example. We have NOTHING to make biking and walking to school a reality.

Latest research on biking infrastructure.
Read all about it.


Klaus Mohn said...

She's not wearing spandex, just her regular everyday clothes. Do you think they're adequate for riding a bike?

Libby Maxim said...

klaus, i give up, my point was "why are short skirts and heels chic and not this young lady's outfit??" to me, she represents all that is right about biking. Chic should be ANY lady on a bike in any outfit.

Klaus Mohn said...

She's empowered, looks exactly like her classmates, but she's got something extra: she rides a bike. "Whoa! Bikes are actually cool devices you can use to get around! You can dress for it, but you can also dress like you would if you drove or rode a car, and you'll be fit, healthy, and fast!", that's the message.

The idea behind cycle chic blogs is basically the same: they're here to show you can dress however you want, including with heels and/or a skirt if you're someone who likes wearing those, and get around by bike. A lot of people need to see those pictures (of elegant people, or regular people) to understand that cycling isn't just a recreational sport, it's the coolest, greenest, snappiest way to get around. You already knew that, but some people are more sensitive to fashion, have different ideas of elegance, and what's wrong with getting them to try putting a little bike in their lives? They'll change their attitudes when they're behind the wheel, they'll be OK with bike infrastructure...

BicyclesOnly said...

I agree, nothing better than kids of bikes. At my son's school, they have driver's ed. and stationary exercycles in the gym, but they don't teach kids how to bicycle. Go figure. I'm working on changing that now. In the meanwhile, check out how New York City Bicycles to School (it's not in spandex, but its usually not in high heels, either!):