21 August 2008

Back to School

On my way to the first day of third grade. I may not have front teeth, but man was I proud to have my very own bike lock, with a secret combination!

Last year a New York Times article asserted
"Forty years ago, half of all students walked or bicycled to school. Today, fewer than 15 percent travel on their own steam."
They go on to list myriad environmental, health, and mental acuity-related benefits to getting one's self to school.

I'd like to add another: Self Confidence.

I am certain that I was (am?) a stronger person as a result of my independence and self-reliance at a young age. My mother tacitly sent the message that she had faith in my good judgment by allowing me to get myself to and from school. This carried over into other aspects of my life outside the scope of this blog, including things like eventual peer pressure to smoke, etc. (yes, I am THAT old!)

Thank you Mom, for your faith in me.

Parents: protect your children, but don't forget to give them wings.


Anonymous said...

Tears in Mom's eyes at the moment. I am very proud of the woman you have become.

reverend dick said...

Parents can encourage riding to school by helping their kids find a safe route to ride. And ride it with them if possible- at least until they get into the groove.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Although my son doesn't go to school, he does bike all over the neighborhood by himself - to the library, piano lessons, friends houses, ice cream shop, grocery store, etc. I don't even want to imagine what his life would be like if I carted him around like a toddler everywhere.

2whls3spds said...

By Environment...do they mean infrastructure? If so it is a pet peeve of mine. No public use structure should be allowed to be built without providing for alternative means of access, ie; pedestrian, cycling or mass transit. They just built a cluster of 3 schools near me (K-12) however the nearly 400 kids that live with in less than a mile of the school CANNOT walk to the school safely because the roads leading up to it have no provision for pedestrians. They haven't even allowed for crosswalks at the schools!
(sorry about the rant)

Sounds like your parents were a lot like mine..."be free, fly" or maybe mom just threw us out of the nest...I don't recall LOL


Charlotte said...

Hi Aaron:
Yes, there was a little bit of throwing us out of the nest, but shhh - mom's stopping by!

As for environment, the article was more about the global environment than local infrastructure:

"With more children being driven to school, traffic congestion has mushroomed. That has increased stress to drivers and risks to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as air pollution, especially in and around schools. Parents who drive their children to school make up about a quarter of morning commuters. More traffic also means more vehicular accidents, endangering the lives of children and the adults who drive them."

Unknown said...

I just did a post on Bike Jax about how kids are not walking or riding bikes here in our city.

I, like you Chic Cyclist are so very thankful that I had parents that allowed me to develop my independence. Along with the confidence I gained in my own self-reliance.

Tom said...

I pass a high school every morning. The summer commute is wonderful. But school has started... teen drivers, buses and soccer moms in vans make for some intense moments.

by the way..... what a cutie!

charlie said...

What a world! My daughter did her first solo round trip bicycle commute to "work" yesterday and I was a wreck until she got there and called to tell me she made it safely! Unless they ride the bus, the kids must be brought to the school doors by the parents; says the school. I grew up on a bike and saw a lot more of the world on my own than kids today do.

MELI. said...

so cute!!!!
that picture ‹&story› is adorable!

yes once my mom told me once knee scars were cool, it was over. I grew up around boys so there you have it ;]
For one of my birthdays i had a huge knee stitch-job and an eye-patch. eeek.