There are huge benefits to walking, scooting or cycling to school.

 

  • It is healthy

  • Children arrive at school engaged and ready to learn

  • It is sociable and can be done with friends

  • It helps in tackling obesity

  • It's fun

  • It helps the environment

  • Reduced congestion (especially around the school)

  • It's what children want

Here are quick tips on removing some of the most common barriers to a safer, more active and sustainable school run:


GETTING TO SCHOOL:
 

I live too far away:

Park & stride, car sharing, drop off at a friend's house, walk and cycle for leisure

I don't want my child to travel alone:

Walking bus, buddying with friends

The roads are too busy: 

Route maps, campaign, DIY streets, talk to the council

BIKES:
 

My bike is broken:
Get in touch. If we are actively engaged with your child's school we can arrange either a Dr Bike or a bike mech session

I don’t know what bike to buy:
Child bikes can be heavy, with too many gears and poorly made. Check out our buying a bike guide.  

 

Brands like Islabikes and Frog Bikes produce quality bikes that hold their value. You may pay more, but you will be able to sell the bike for close to the rrp.

Other tips:
BMX bikes are great for messing around on, but less good for long rides due to their low saddle height. Avoid plastic wheels, which flex and buckle, and cannot be adjusted. Look for quality brands like Haro, WeThePeople, GT or Saracen.

Fatter mountain bike tyres are slightly slower on pavements and roads, but are great for off-road cut-throughs.


Ask your school to organise a bike & swap day. Bikes can be swapped between parents to find on the right height or type for your child with mechanical assistance on hand.


TRAINING:
 

I can't ride a bike or I lack confidence = get training:
Bikeability training teachers the skills needed to feel confident on a bike starting from where you are.

More information here www.bikeability.org.uk

 

Locally there may be funding to support training: this could be confidence training for you or your child.

 

Locally delivered courses:

Central Bedfordshire

Riding a bike, Contact: info@ridingabike.co.uk or Cycle4LIFE, Contact andrew@cycle4life.org

Luton

nathan.burge@luton.gov.uk

Bedford

team@outspokentraining.co.uk

I can’t get my child cycling: 

Local cycle trainers can support you (see above). A different face removes some of the pressure of expectation

Learn in a group - request a school session or get friends together

Personalise the bike - some stickers, a basket, tassles or a superhero helmet garners enthusiasm
Get someone else to try - a different person doing the same things may make the difference
Use hard, flat surfaces or even a slight downhill with pumped up tyres to make the bike easy to pedal 

Practice sitting on a bike: flap arms, beat chest, wiggle bum, stamp feet, both feet in air

A bike that is too small is very hard to pedal so not great to learn on; similarly, one that is too big can be equally challenging

Balance bikes are a great first step

Scooters can also help develop balance and require keeping body straight

                                              

                                

 

Sustrans We're the charity that’s making it easier for people to walk and cycle

Sustrans is a registered charity in England and Wales (number 326550) and Scotland (SC039263) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England No 1797726 at 2 Cathedral Square, Bristol, BS1 5DD.