Sunday, December 5, 2021

Barcelona’s Bike Bus Attracts Hundreds to Bike to School

The goal of achieving zero emissions requires some innovative thinking and with the tradition of a bike bus starting in Barcelona, we just might have a chance to attain that goal and make the streets a safer place for kids. What started out with five families deciding to bike along with their children to school has now become a trend that should be achieved globally.

The bike bus beginning

When a tourist decides to have an early start of the day in Barcelona and hits the street at 8 a.m., they will see a fascinating sight. Hundreds of children and parents are seen traveling on bikes in a culture dubbed as the Bicibus, or bike bus. Some parents even have toddlers strapped to them or the bike as they all make their routine journey to escort kids to school. Some are on bikes and some are on skates, but all of them travel down the middle of the empty streets and not on the sidewalk.

The bike bus goes to several schools. When students reach their school, they leave the bus and park their bikes.

This system saw its beginning in Barcelona’s Eixample district this September. The main reason behind this is to build a safer and environment-friendly commute option for kids. One of the parents, Mireia Boix, mentions in her email that with this system, they aim to develop goodness and start something that will cultivate a generational awareness. These bikers have a three-stop system wherein at each stop, they wait for more commuters to join their convoy. This stop system has also encouraged more people to know about this bike bus style of commuting.

The route covered by these commuters has three schools falling on the route and that also includes a busy road. The Friday traffic at Entença Street is high with over 20,000 cars passing. The commute of these bikers takes about 25 minutes. And with the ever-growing cycling and skating kids taking part in this bike bus culture, there are a couple of police cars and bikes that act as an envoy. This further makes the parents happy that the additional security means their children will travel safely to school. This story and many videos and pictures about this bike bus tradition have taken the Internet by storm. Social media has become active with this beneficial way of commuting.

The Eixample bike bus begins around 8:25 every Friday morning. The path it follows is always posted ahead of time, so everyone knows where to join. (Image: via Twitter)

Opting to ride a bicycle

The scene that caused parents to take charge was that the three schools located on a busy street saw heavy traffic. It’s a global issue of drivers being careless for a minute and someone losing their life. With their children’s lives at stake, parents decided to bike with them to ensure they reached the school gates safely. While cycling, they also realized that this was a very healthy option.

While it is impossible to completely do away with fuel emissions and engines, smaller steps can be taken to lessen the load on the environment. Riding a bicycle to another state — though not impossible — might be a bit of a stretch for some, but commuting to the office or to local areas on a bicycle can easily be done. 

Apart from being good for the environment, cycling also aids weight loss and strengthens muscles, promoting an overall healthy body and mind. The lockdown has wreaked havoc on the lifestyles of many. The need to get out and regain an active lifestyle is slowly coming back, but mentally, many are still dealing with the constant stress and uncertainty the first few months of being in a lockdown again brought with it. This also includes accepting the fact that the covid virus is here to stay and we need to equip ourselves with proper immunity. This leads to changing diets and adding regular workouts to the routine. One of the best ways to do so will be adding cycling or skating to the mix. In fact, cycling or skating can be more fun and wholesome than traveling in a car or even a motorbike will ever be.

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Raven Montmorency
Raven Montmorency is a pen name used for a writer based in India. She has been writing with her main focus on Lifestyle and human rights issues around the world.

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