Photo of Calgary kids biking in the winter by Tom Babin

These Calgary kids don’t let winter stop them from biking to school

Editor’s note: this article first published on March 27, 2013. 

It seems more and more school bike racks stand unused and forgotten these days, as fewer and fewer kids ride to school. The sight of rosy-cheeked children, excited and alert for their first day of class after a rigorous pedal, have become something of a rarity.

Especially when the roads are white with fresh snow and the thermometer reads -15 C.

But, as reported in a recent Calgary Herald article, there’s one group of Grade 5 and 6 students who ride regardless of the weather. Mostly, they do it for the joy of biking to school.

“For the kids, there’s nothing big-picture about riding their bikes to school,” wrote Tom Babin in the Herald. “They think it’s fun. Some of them like the outsider status it gives them. Others like seeing the shocked faces of school officials when they emerge through the snowfall.”

The parents of these kids deserve a little credit as well. In a time when many moms and dads would rather drive their kids to and from school because it’s easier or safer, these ones see biking as a way for their children to gain independence – a daily adventure that forces them “to overcome challenges like bad weather, scraped knees and flat tires, without an adult around to bail [them] out.”

Basically, biking to school through inclement weather provides children with a badge of honour. A status symbol. An identity. Plus, it improves attentiveness in class while allowing for daily physical activity. What could be better?

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