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Bike Brigades for Kids in Reston?

Parents, teachers and kids might be interested in learning more about bike brigades. One of the speakers is a seventh-grader who bikes to school daily.

The Safe Routes to School Coaching Action Network is hosting a free webinar on building bike brigades to help children safely ride their bikes to school.

What an interesting idea. When my niece visited for two weeks, we drove her to camp every day and realized how much transportation is part of parenting. When she asked to come back again to visit for two weeks this coming summer I said, "yeah, and we’ll get you a bike." I looked into public transit for her but it didn’t meet her needs. But a kid with a bike in Reston, with all those paths, what freedom. (For the kids and parents - liberated from taxi services.)

Here is a description about the webinar, anyone is free to attend if you are interested in learning more about Safe Routes to School and bike brigades.

When most people think of Safe Routes to School, walking is the first thing that comes to mind.  However, cycling is another healthy, fun, and efficient way for children to travel to and from school and is a growing part of Safe Routes to School Programs across the country. Developing ways to encourage people to bike to school is a crucial component of expanding the reach of these Programs. By including bicycling in our Safe Routes to School toolkits we are able to potentially reach those living further away from their school.

In this sixty-minute webinar, we will discuss two successful Bike Train/Bike Brigade programs and provide insight into how you can replicate their success within your own SRTS programs. Lauren Marchetti, Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, will  begin the presentation with  a brief introduction and discussion of National Bike to School Day.  Next, Kiel Johnson, Founder of Bike Train PDX, will share invaluable tips on how to get a bike train running from the ground up.  Kiel helped organize a successful bike train from Beach School in Portland, Oregon.   Using that as a model, Kiel has spread bike trains to schools throughout the City.  And finally, Gina Overshiner, Bike Program Manager for PedNet Coalition in Columbia Missouri, will discuss how she built a Middle School Bike Brigade which rides every day, in conjunction with a school Bike Club and Bicycle Safety Education classes.  Gina will be joined by one of the seventh-grade girls, who bikes to school daily. 

This webinar is part of the Safe Routes to School Coaching Action Network Webinar Series, developed by America Walks and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

For more information please contact Michelle Gulley at mgulley@americawalks.org

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Do you think it is safe for kids to bike in Reston? Would your kids be able to bike to school? Kids, do you bike to school? Share your thoughts.

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J Anderson February 28, 2012 at 03:02 PM
The elementary schools in Vienna have bike trains, walking Wednesdays and a week long bike/walk challenge in May. As part of a group pushing on FCPS and the County to further embrace SRTS - we are eager to find communities and champions to help the cause. This is another indication that Reston is ripe for SRTS efforts - given the trail system in Reston, the community based schools, the RA and RBAC interest in SRTS etc. How can we get the Reston Elementary schools to get interested more? Can FCPS call a meeting?
Lucinda Shannon February 28, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Hi J Anderson, That is a good question. I don’t know the answer to it. Maybe another reader who is more connected with the schools in Reston could comment? I’ll ask around, my focus is more on transportation and older adults in Reston. I would be surprised if kids were not riding their bikes to school in Reston. Right?
Frank Sogandares February 28, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I live near Terraset. I cannot recall ever seeing a kid riding a bike to or from school. I'm sure every school is different.
Karen Goff February 28, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Frank, you are kidding, right?
Michael Sanio February 28, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Having kids riding bikes to school would be a great way to have them get out and about. For some reason my child is unable to ride his bike to Buzz Aldrin, tried to last year during bike to work day, but was told I must not leave the bicycle at the school!
Pat Hynes February 29, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Vienna PTAs have been very active in pushing for greater pedestrian and bike access to schools. I would like to hear what Reston PTAs are already doing. So often, good stuff is happening and we just don't know about it. The Safe Routes to Schools task force is a combined effort of FCPS and Fairfax County government. If you're a Reston parent - or just an interested resident - who would like to know more about the task force, please email me at pmhynes@fcps.edu. Thanks to Lucinda for bringing this up! Pat Hynes FCPS School Board Member from the Hunter Mill District
Pat Hynes February 29, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Michael, I suggest you ask the principal. The School Board recently recommitted to safe routes to schools as a policy priority and all principals should have gotten the message that students may bike to school. Is there a bike rack at the school? Pat Hynes FCPS School Board Member for the Hunter Mill District
hilarie malmberg March 01, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Is anyone familiar with the condition of the bike path from Forest Edge ES and Ring Road in Reston. When my daughter was elementary age, this path was extremely, steep, poorly banked with lots of loose gravel on the paths edges. Does anyone in the Uplands area have an opinion or experience biking on this path?

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