By Steve Hayward
Almost every day when I am bringing my daughter home from her elementary school on a bike I purchased at a garage sale for $15, we are passed by a $35,000 SUV with one of her classmates in it. They always wave at my daughter and look so sad because they have to ride inside a vehicle while my daughter gets to ride home on a bike.
We often take a short cut through an unpaved alley. There are apple, pear and plum trees that drop their fruit on the ground. My daughter likes it when we aim for and run over the fruit and make apple, pear or plum sauce. Then we bounce through the dirt pot holes and she laughs all the way home. You just can’t do that in a car.
One year, I kept records on how much time it took to make the 1.5 mile round trip to school using a bike or a car. On average, it only took 30 seconds longer to take the bike, but was much more fun. The bike was slower on the street but made up for lost time by being able to make the drop off at the school’s front door rather than having to find a parking place as well as dealing with the traffic congestion around the school.
Keep up the good work, BikeTexas.
Steve Hayward is a BikeTexas member and a bicycle advocate who has been instrumental in helping the Safe Routes to School program in Amarillo.