First Time Biking to School… Terrifying, yet Rewarding

Bike to school bike rack

My first grade son loves riding his bike.  I’m happy about that, because I do, too.  Ahhh… I foresee many grand biking adventures in our future!  So it’s not surprising that he’s been begging to ride his bike to school.

*heavy sigh*

But I have a problem with this.  You see, the unavoidable route between our home and his grade school includes a very scary road.  Narrow.  Busy.  No sidewalks.  Fast moving traffic, with a speed limit of 45 mph.  It’s basically like biking on the edge of a highway.  With a 6 year old.  Terrifying.

Oh, there’s a bike lane.  But’s it’s 2 feet wide, at best.

Sometimes you just have to suck it up, as a parent, and take a calculated risk.  I love the idea of riding our bikes more, and as a mode of transportation.  I love everything about it.

Living an active lifestyle!

Sneaking in exercise, via something that’s also fun!

Saving gas!

Polluting less!

Teaching our kids good life habits!

Alright, so let’s do this…

Obviously, the plan is for me to bike to school with him.  The only feasible day to do so (my only off of work) is Friday.  So last Friday was the Big Day.

Alas, the cards were stacked against us.  First his backpack was missing, so we scramble to find a giant, poorly fitting substitute.  We lose time over this endeavor.

Next hurdle was the new set-your-own-combination bike lock we had aaaalll purchased and ready to go.  Except that is wasn’t.  The combo wasn’t set, and I didn’t know how to set it.  At least not within the 2 minute window of time we had left.

*heavy sigh*

Seriously?  By now, he’s so excited.  He was even willing to eat some breakfast (a daily struggle), which I insisted he do for energy.  That’s it.  We’re going for it.

Bike to school first grader

First time biking to school! Blissfully unaware of the perils… he’s just HAPPY!

Biking to School… the Terrifying Road

I did at least have some nice daytime headlights and taillights for added visibility.  So I strapped those on both of our bikes, and off we set.

And that awful, busy, traffic laden road (the first half of our 3 mile journey) was just as horrifying as I anticipated.   Maybe even a little bit more.

At one point, my heart racing, I thought to myself “this is terrifying… I can’t believe we’re doing this”.  As cars zoom past us, at a distance of what felt like about 18 inches away.

We hit a big hill, and my poor son is cranking away on his little single gear bike.  Gigantic substitute backpack, almost bigger than him, swaying from side to side.  I kept yelling, “if you have to stop honey, it’s ok! Just pull over!”

“I’m ok, mom!  I know how to stand on my pedals!!” he replies like a trooper.

He made it.  We walk our bikes across the scary road, and at last we reach the safer, second portion of our journey.

Biking to School… the Happy Part

Bike to school safe route

That giant backpack, tho….

And then I started to enjoy it.  It was such a beautiful day.  And he was so, so happy.  And proud.

Bike to school happy

When we got to the school, he had to go get some friends and bring them over to see his bike.

Bike to school playground

Worth the [terrifying] effort.  It was a good day.  🙂

*o*     *o*     *o*

What do you think?  Is it worth it to bike to school, given circumstances like this?  I’m honestly still torn, and would love to hear your input.

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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves enjoying the outdoors, staying active, travel, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World...

Comments

  1. What an adventure!! And one you both will never forget. It brought back memories of a similar scary experience with my son a long time ago. After a long battle with health issues, he charted out increasingly difficult routes to build up his stamina. The grand finale was about ten miles, on a narrow and busy road with very little shoulder for bikes. I followed behind with the same mixed feelings of fear and pride. It was a big milestone for us both. Good job Mom, in helping your little one with his!!! 👏👏💕

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