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PE Teacher’s ‘bike bus’ lets kids go to school on group bike rides and community loves it
His idea is catching on quickly.
Sheehan Diapues
10.28.22

A teacher is using an innovative way to encourage more students to bike to school.

Biking to school is not uncommon.

However, Sam Balto, a PE teacher based in Portland, has led a massive “Bike Bus” in their neighborhood in Alameda on Earth Day.

In the video posted by BikePortland, Balto commented that he’s excited about the event and it’s going to be amazing.

Youtube-Bike Portland
Source:
Youtube-Bike Portland

Bike buses are similar to ‘walking school buses’, where it’s an active way for children and families to go to school.

Either on feet or two wheels, it’s a chance to bring the community together through physical activity while having fun and engaging with people in a way that’s exciting.

In the video, Balto also added that they’re seeing kids join them as they go along the way.

That keeps the crowd growing.

Youtube-Bike Portland
Source:
Youtube-Bike Portland

The idea is to build students’ autonomy and ability to navigate streets on their own, and opportunities like these can go a long way.

With parents’ support and guidance, the kids can ride on their own.

The kids made it happen.

Balto happily shared that a group of 5th graders organized their group as soon as he started to share the idea of a bike bus.

And they’ve been biking to school on their own, which is so exciting.

Youtube-Bike Portland
Source:
Youtube-Bike Portland

He sees the big smiles on their faces every morning when they arrive at the school grounds.

The agenda? Keeping kids active.

He added that he never got into this to be an environmentalist. He just wanted his students to get more physical activity.

This is also about encouraging a clean and active means of transportation in their community, so it’s a win-win.

Youtube-Bike Portland
Source:
Youtube-Bike Portland

The bike bus is building confidence in kids and young teens to navigate the streets on their own.

It’s also a call to action for city leaders to create safer infrastructure supporting these types of active transportation in going to school, work, or just visiting another friend’s house.

Will the city support it?

Relying on volunteers like himself to organize such an initiative won’t last long.

Youtube-Bike Portland
Source:
Youtube-Bike Portland

So, he wanted the authorities to repurpose the budget to not only be used on school buses but also be used on healthier means of transportation for kids to school.

His idea is catching on.

The community has made positive comments on this endeavor.

They said it is great seeing everyone having fun riding together. It’s also a great time to bond with families and friends in the community.

One parent commented that if they could take other kids along and encourage them, it would help even more people out.

Youtube-Bike Portland
Source:
Youtube-Bike Portland

Sometimes the kids just needed a little support to avoid getting worried about doing it on their own.

The event was a great opportunity to show that it can be done.

It just takes inviting another person to ride with you and it’s going to be more fun to have more people ride along.

Setting a new standard

Youtube-Bike Portland
Source:
Youtube-Bike Portland

The more people engage in these modes of transportation while boosting the community’s bond with each other, the more likely that it will be the standard culture of the community.

Earth Day has been a great jumping-off point to get engaged with these types of events.

The best part is it’s working.

See Balto join his students for the ‘bike bus’ ride and learn more in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Sheehan Diapues
hi@sbly.com
Sheehan Diapues is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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