Q&A with Po Campo: Biking to School With Kids

Susan, a mother from Savannah, Georgia asks:
“Do you have any tips for biking with kids?”

Since founder, Maria Boustead, does not have children of her own, she got help from Annika, a mother of two living in the Logan Square area of Chicago, IL. Annika had some great tips of her own to lend us, so here they are!

First, Anika explains, you must find and establish a safe route. When applicable, use one way streets. They tend to give you excellent vision and awareness. When biking with your kids to school, make sure the route has stop signs, lights or crossing guards. When establishing your route, keep in mind the time of day that you will be biking with your kids. Traffic will vary. Ride the route by yourself to get comfortable with and prepare for when your children are with you.

Next, when riding with your children, always make eye contact. That means with your children as well as with all drivers at intersections. When crossing intersections, lead with your bike and block traffic until your child crosses completely. Read ahead and be sure to give your child verbal cues, for instance, when a car door is being opened.

Lastly, if unable to bike on the sidewalk, search out the quieter streets. Sidewalks, do however, offer their own dangers. Cars can’t see you from alleys, and blind spots are increased at intersections. Neighborhood side streets with minimal traffic offer the least risk of danger. If there is a car behind you and your children, find a safe place to pull over and let the car pass.

“So why is it so important that your kids start riding early?” Maria asks Annika.

Anika’s response contains multiple points. It teaches the importance of sustainability and lessening environmental impact. It’s easier than commuting in an urban environment on bikes, rather than cars. Also, Anika points out, biking gets her child active and awake before school and she noticed an increase in concentration and grades in her daughter. Lastly, it offers a lot of great family time!

Watch the interview with Anika:

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