Bicycle for Family Transport

Bicycle for Family Transport

We feel incredibly lucky to have a lifestyle that is centered around nature conservation, but you don’t have to work in conservation to make a difference. Conservation Corner is a series where I highlight the many ways people around the world are making an effort to tread a little lighter on our planet. This post contains affiliate links.

Today Becky from Kid World Citizen shares how her family uses bicycles as a form of transport. Becky’s site is an amazing resource for parents and educators. She shares a wealth of information and “activities that help young minds go global.” I love how easy it is to find what you are looking for at Kid World Citizen as all the posts are categorized by both world area and topic and almost every post has great links for further exploration. I am forever using Becky’s ideas in our homeschool and I’m so excited about her new book (co-written with Homa Sabet Tavanger) The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners that is available for pre-order right now.

I plan to highlight one story a month and I hope to make this a space where people who walk with light footsteps meet. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in contributing to this series or stop by the Conservation Corner page for a list of upcoming posts.

Kid World Citizen

Bicycle for Family Transport

Do you know the top 10 countries with most bicycles per capita? Think of your answers, and I will reveal them at the end of the article.

When my kids were smaller, I bought the most amazing used blue bike trailer.  I had 2 kindergarteners (who could ride their own bikes), and 2 smaller preschoolers. With their schools being relatively close, it seemed silly to get in the car when our “commute” could be done in the fresh air. We began to bike daily- first over the bridge to drop off the kinders at their school in one direction, then back over the bridge home… a little while later I would load up the little ones again and we’d head in the other direction to their preschool.

Bicycling with Kids

As the kids got stronger, we began to use bikes more often to go around town: to the library, to swim, to the grocery store. It was not only fun: biking is good exercise, for us it saves time, saves gas, reduces pollution. People began to recognize me as the lady with the blue trailer, and would come up to me in the supermarket: “Everyday as I’m in my car for carpool, I see you ride your bike with your kids! You make me want to get out our bikes!”

I read in Yes! Magazine that “in 1969… 48% of kids aged 5-15 regularly walked or biked to school. In 2009, it was just 13%.” With our sedentary lifestyle, we’re spending more time in front of screens and less time outdoors and being active- if you have to go somewhere nearby, why not consider a bike as your transport?

May 7th is Bike to School Day– encourage your neighborhood and school to motivate kids to ride! In 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save the Earth, they mention cycling places as a way to keep our air clean; the book suggests that we make up a list of all of the restaurants you can walk or bike to. Maybe as a family you could come up with 10 nearby destinations that are feasible by bike? Get inspired by the Finch Family of Portland, OR, US, whose mom uses a bike to tote her 6 kids around town.

Bike Trailer for Kids

Now that my kids are older and can ride to and from friends’ houses, or to school if they have an early activity, it helps increase responsibility, helps them learn their way around their neighborhood, and gives them a little freedom. I think it’s important that my kids are growing up knowing that they don’t have to automatically get in the car to go somewhere; biking is one mode of transportation that is not only pleasant, but also environmentally-friendly and healthy.

Here are some fabulous cycling books to inspire your kids:

Ben Rides On by Pulitzer-prize winning Matt Davies

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka

Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best

Mike and the Bike by Michael Ward (and the sequel Mike and the Bike Meet Lucille the Wheel)

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

The Bear’s Bicycle by Emilie Warren McLeod

Along a Long Road by Frank Viva

Gracie Goat’s Big Bike Race (Barnsville Sports Squad) by Erin Mirabella

And the top 10 countries with the most bicycles per capita are:

  1. The Netherlands
  2. Denmark
  3. Germany
  4. Sweden
  5. Norway
  6. Finland
  7. Japan
  8. Switzerland
  9. Belgium
  10. China

Did you bike to school as a kid? Do your kids? What about around town? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Kid World Citizen:

Becky - Kid World Citizen BioBecky is the founder of, where she shares activities that teach kids about the world. She is a teacher, a mom to 4 bilingual and multicultural kids, and loves geography, world cultures, travel, and the outdoors. Becky recently wrote The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners.

Thank you Becky! Your post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for me as we are just about to remove Boo’s training wheels!

About Jody Tilbury

7 Responses to “Bicycle for Family Transport”

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  1. I think it is awesome that you use the bike and I am inspired to do the same. Thnk you for this post, I really need to get a bike for me 🙂

  2. Jennifer says:

    before becoming a mother, I biked everywhere when there wasn’t any snow on the ground, including an hour each way to work, and I loved every second of it. Since having my munchkin, I’ve missed it, but you’ve definitely made me realize that she is old enough now to sit in a little blue trailer!

  3. Annabelle says:

    As a new expat in germany, we have taken on this mode of transport too. It is a great culture here and children learn to cycle by themselves with no training wheels very early on.

  4. Becky says:

    My European friends have the *coolest* bike seat attachments for their kids to ride on the parents’ bikes- they say you can’t find here in the US (thought surely somewhere you could get them on-line?). My kids always loved when we’d bike places, and would urge me on “faster mommy!” :). Such fun memories! Now that they are older they ride their own bikes and we gave the trailer away to friends. I miss those days of riding them around!

  5. I bike my four-year-old to school with a Tagabike, which I was lucky enough to review on my blog (reviewing the two-seater attachment I use to get around with her and the baby later this week!) We sold our second car when we moved to California, and Mike bikes to work every day. Once all of our kids are in the neighborhood school, we will be able to walk or bike all of the kids to school!

  6. Lisa Nelson says:

    I think this is such a great idea. We live in the boonies, where it’s not safe to walk or to bike (there are no sidewalks, so you would have to ride in busy streets. While I think exercise is very important – I’m not going to risk my kids lives doing it.

    So, we put the bikes in the car, and go on trails. It’s not perfect, but it works (in the spring-fall). Definitely not when there is 12 inches of snow and ice on the ground. 🙂

    Thanks for this great article!

  7. Hanelene says:

    We walked everywhere in Cairo – it was much more sane than driving, frankly. Here in Lima, it isn’t as easy. Of course there are no sidewalks, and cars actually seem to aim for the double stroller while they drive 70 miles an hour down our residential streets. Ack! I definitely wouldn’t be brave enough to let my children cycle here. In fact, my almost 4 year old is still in the stroller since its the only way I have enough control to keep him safe.