April 12 is San Francisco Bike to School Day, the biggest youth bicycling day of the year. Last year, more than 2,000 San Franciscans participated in the event, including 1,500 youths, county supervisors and representatives from the Board of Education. Biking to school is a great way to spend family time together and keep you and your children healthy and alert.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is offering a series of tips, classes and activities to help parents and caregivers get ready for Bike to School Day, and to help make every day bike to school day. Here are a few simple ways to get your family pedaling to school.
Take a class
The coalition offers free family biking classes throughout the year, with more in the months leading up to Bike to School Day. The four-part series covers a variety of topics, such as biking while pregnant and teaching your child to bike on his or her own. This month, the coalition is offering special on-road skill classes for caregivers and their children at elementary schools citywide. Sign up for one of these free classes at www.sfbike.org/?family_class:
– 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Sunset Elementary School, 1920 41st Ave.
– 10 a.m.-noon March 17 at Buena Vista/Horace Mann, 3351 23rd St.
If you can’t make it to the classes, pick up some tips and tricks on biking with your children to school (for kids on your bike, or riding independently) at www.sfbike.org/school.
Register your school
One of the best ways to prepare for Bike to School Day is to register your school. Any parent, teacher, administrator or volunteer of a school can sign up that school. Complete the form at www.sfbiketoschoolday.org. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will follow up with all of the information and materials needed to make sure the event is a success.
Practice at Sunday Streets
The 2012 Sunday Streets schedule begins with a car-free Embarcadero and events from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The program provides a great place to practice your on-the-road family biking skills. As always, the coalition will be offering the Freedom From Training Wheels course. There will be bikes to try, or trained staff will help your little one learn to ride on his or her bike. If you can’t make it Sunday, read tips for teaching your child at www.sfbike.org/childbike.
Finally, if you like the idea of biking with your family but feel you need more help brushing up on your own biking skills before adding your children to the mix, sign up for one of the coalition’s adult bicycle education courses at www.sfbike.org/edu.
Bike About Town is presented by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, a 12,000-member nonprofit dedicated to creating safer streets and more livable communities by promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation. For more biking resources, go to www.sfbike.org.