CYCLING TO SCHOOL IS A FAMILY AFFAIR
Photo: The Flood family (left) and Defert family (right)
Two local fathers, Chris Flood and Tim Defert, ride to school and back with their children from April to December. "In all honesty", says Tim "I look forward to the kids getting a little older so they can bike year round, especially given the rising price of gas." These families make biking to school feel like a day in Disney land; no one is sure who is having the most fun… the kids or the adults. Teachers have commented on how the children appeared more grounded and they concentrate better after their morning ride. The Floods & Deferts have motivated other families to bike to school with their kids. Now, the bike racks at Willow Point School are often full year round.
To reach their school, both families have to cycle on the Island Highway. Defert said that “we still have a serious conversation around safety". The fathers said that they first practice their road skills on the weekends before setting off for the first school bike trip of the year. They wear high visibility clothing and helmets are mandatory. On colder days warm clothing is a must, especially warm gloves “one cold day can ruin biking forever” they sad.
During Bike to Work Week (May 28 – June 3), cycling to and from school counts. You can form a family team and register on line at www.biketowork.ca. Children can be encouraged to keep a track of the kilometers cycled and calculate the green house gases saved by not going to school in a vehicle. There is good cycling and safety information on the website. Choose the Campbell River location and under “Team Leader downloads” look for the Bike Sense and Bike Smarts (geared at kids) documents. For more information on BTWW contact Linda at 250-923-7911 or firstname.lastname@example.org