A better way to start the dayThe best way to make someone into a lifelong cyclist is to show them how fun it is, and give them the skills to have enough self-confidence on a bike at a very young age. But how can we do that? Portland shows us a way, with the various ways they use to encourage biking to school (and walking too, also very important).
Portland makes it happen through a unique blend of infrastructure, planning, and outreach. They have a growing network of low-traffic neighborhood greenways. By 2015, 80 percent of all Portland residents will be within a half mile of one. Communities also frequently schedule "bike trains" and "walking school buses" to encourage kids and their families to bike or walk to school. One of the more incredible parts of these programs: Fifth grade student volunteers trained by the Portland police help younger students cross the street to get to school in the morning. That's right, NYC, no crossing guards on corner after corner. (source)
This model should be implemented by other cities as quickly as possible! Not only is it good for the environment, but it's also great for kids' health, it saves money, and creates much more pleasant and livable neighborhoods!
Check out this very inspiring video by our friend Clarence: