The ‘bike bus’ movement that’s coming to a town near you

It began in a small city in Catalonia. Now a citizen-led initiative to get youngsters to highschool safely by bicycle has gone international

With music blasting from a bluetooth speaker, dinging bells and excited chatter, a hi-vis convoy of cyclists – youngsters, mums and dads – rolls safely by means of the push hour visitors.

That is the bike bus motion, a pedal-powered revolution making youngsters kings of the street and guaranteeing them a protected cycle to highschool. From Spain to Scotland, through San Francisco and Oregon, it’s gathering tempo – and will quickly be coming to a city or metropolis close to you.

“It’s a bit injection of pleasure on a Friday morning,” stated Gareth Johnson, who began a motorcycle bus in Shawlands, a suburb of Glasgow, Scotland (most important image). “It’s enjoyable, it’s pleased. Even when it’s raining, even when it’s gray, there’s nonetheless that vibe about it.”

Vibes apart, the massive benefit of a motorcycle bus – mainly a rolling caravan of children on bikes, with grownup outriders shielding them from the visitors – is security in numbers.

The thought sprang up within the city of Vic in Catalonia, northern Spain, in 2020 as a citizen-led initiative dubbed bicibús. It quickly unfold to different cities and cities the place it received the help of each the council and the police, which typically present an escort on busy routes.

Throughout Catalonia, some 1,200 youngsters in 25 cities now make a weekly commute to highschool by bike. Sparking one thing of a series response, the concept has unfold to Portland, US, the place round 200 youngsters be part of a weekly experience to Alameda elementary faculty.

In San Francisco, a string of motorcycle buses roll out weekly. In Glasgow, Johnson was moved to behave after his now six-year-old son Owen begged to experience his bike to Shawlands major faculty.

“The considered biking on the street with him simply gave me the heebie-jeebies,” Johnson stated. “Then I noticed one thing on Twitter in regards to the Barcelona bike bus and thought it was one thing we may do.”

Each few weeks we get an enquiry from somebody wanting to present it a go

Johnson was aiming for an preliminary “vital mass” of 5 biking households. After establishing in October 2021, the Shawlands bike bus now averages round 60 riders, and a number of other different colleges in Glasgow and a lot of others throughout Britain have adopted swimsuit, together with in Worcestershire, Leamington, Bournemouth, Winchester and Hove.

“It seems like a little bit of a motion,” stated Johnson. “There’s half a dozen in England that we’ve spoken to which at the moment are up and working. Each few weeks we get an enquiry from somebody wanting to present it a go.

“One of many dad and mom nailed it just lately – she known as it her weekly dose of group.” 

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