Bike to school week

Bike to school week

Bike to School Week - SEPT 28TH to OCT 2ND

Big thanks to all families who took part in this action!

Question: How can we provide a fun and healthy activity for our kids, connect our community, and keep everybody safe at the same time?

Answer: Organize Bike to School Week

This year our school took part in the HUB Cycling initiative for the first time. This year 71 schools across Metro Vancouver joined this event in order to promote active transport and increase kids’ health and ability to focus at school and at the same time decrease our carbon footprint.

How did we participate?

Van Horne community and students took part in this activity, and engaged their bikes, scooters and feet to come to school during this week. They used bike racks and school fence to lock their bikes. Parents and school staff showed full support in these actions.

Some families registered students on Bike HUB site, as part of our online team, and luckiest ones got prizes from action sponsors and PAC: athletic masks from Paddle Vancouver, Cineplex passes and gift cards.

NOTE: individual prizes are already delivered to winners, and champion Divison 6 prize will be delivered later during the year, due to safety measures and restrictions.

Results in Van Horne

  • 502 bike and scooter trips to/from school during this week
  • 39% of all school trips were on bike this week
  • Yellow house got points for House cup with 146 bike rides in total
  • Division 6 was a champion with 46 bike trips this week

Let’s continue to promote a healthy lifestyle while following all COVID-19 safety rules: Keep two meters apart, wear masks where distancing isn’t possible, and maintain good hand hygiene.

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Benefits of active travel and bike to school

Increased active travel to and from school has been associated with a number of positive environmental, social, and safety benefits for students of all ages. With positive encouragement and school support, active travel can become a lifelong habit for students!

Students arrive energized and ready to learn

  • Physical activity during the trip to and from school is associated with increased concentration 

Improved safety in school zones

Students experience better physical and mental health

  • Biking to school helps students meet the daily physical activity targets which improve control over symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • It has been shown that 15 min periods of aerobic exercise are associated with significant mood improvements for younger children
  • Physical activity during the commute to school is associated with decreased BMI and increased cardiovascular health for students
  • Biking to school helps students develop skills around emotional self-regulation

Stronger school communities

  • Active travel increases students’ social connections and network

Contributes to a more sustainable school neighborhood

  • Reduction in vehicle traffic around schools improves air quality due to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other particulate air pollution

Learn more about the benefits of active travel and the supporting research:

First Time School’s Guide (compiled by HUB Cycling)

Making the Case for Active School Travel (compiled by Ontario Active School Travel)

Bike to School Week in UK (compiled by Sustrans)

Bike safety

The BC Motor Vehicle Act states that any cyclist should be equipped with the following:

  • Helmet
  • Rear red reflector
  • Front white light & rear red light

Some free resources and training materials for parents and kids

WALK + BIKE + ROLL SAFETY TIPS by City of Vancouver – learn basic traffic signs 

Learn2Ride Online (Grade 4-7)

Free web based online course that helps youth ages 9-12 yrs learn about basic cycling safety. This online course is based on HUB Cycling’s Learn2Ride program, an in-school course that has been completed by over 25,000 Metro Vancouver students.

PHE Guide to Ride (Grade 4, 5 & 6 students) a comprehensive guide to teaching cycling skills and basic bike maintenance, and promoting active transportation in schools

Bike Smarts for Children (Grade 2-7 students) an instructor’s guide to teaching safe cycling skills

Helmet Fit by Parachute Canada, short video demonstrating helmet fit

ABC Quick Check by Active Trans (Grade 4+ Students). Short cartoon illustrating how to do an ABC Quick Check to make sure a bike is safe to ride.

Learning activities

Cycling worksheets from the online can be downloaded and printed to complete at home or in-school here:


“When I bike with my children, where should my kids ride?”

When riding as a family, we recommend riding single file. A child that can be trusted to stop and understands road markings can ride in the front, with the adult and younger children following behind.

This allows you to see them, and encourages them to build the decision making and safety skills needed to ride independently in the future. It also prevents them from simply following the leader in front of them and not paying attention.

“Should my child ride on the sidewalk?”

It is illegal to cycle on the sidewalk in most municipalities (some exceptions are Maple Ridge & parts of New Westminster), but we understand that while children are young they may still end up riding on the sidewalk. The important thing to reinforce when riding on the sidewalk is respect for pedestrians (they have the right of way!), and understanding that drivers are not expecting cyclists to be on the sidewalk, meaning extra attention should be paid at crossings, lanes, alleyways and driveways. In the end, sidewalks are for walking on, so as children get older (and ride faster!) we want to encourage them to build the skills needed to ride on the road.

“What is an appropriate age to let my child ride by themselves?”

Rather than a hard and fast age rule, we suggest that before children are allowed to ride on their own, parents ensure they:

  • Understand relevant traffic safety, such as understanding who has the right of way at basic intersections and how to watch for cars
  • Are able to reliably bike in a straight line
  • Are able to shoulder check without swerving
  • Are able to control their speed and stop when traveling downhill
  • Are able to ride on uneven surfaces

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