Six-year-old Sam Allen has been getting ready for his first day of school since Christmas – but it’s got nothing to do with books, bags or uniforms.
More than a month ago he ditched the training wheels on his bike so he is ready to ride to school on his first day tomorrow.
He’s following in the footsteps (or pedal strokes) of his big sister Olivia who did the same thing two years ago, except it turned out that Olivia was the only preppy who went by bike on day one.
Sam is keen to make sure he isn't the only one riding to school tomorrow morning – after all it not only helps with physical health, riding to school also builds confidence and is a great way to make new friends.
Need a hand getting your child to ride to school?
It's easy to break the cycle of inactivity and make 2018 the year of the bike with the help of Ride2School’s free learn-to-ride Parent Portal.
The Parent Portal is a new, interactive guidebook with all the information parents need to teach children to ride, plan a safe route to school and travel independently.
Bicycle Network spokesperson Anthea Hargreaves said that it has never been easier for Australian students to start riding to school and reach their recommended 60 minutes of exercise each day.
“Ride2School’s Parent Portal addresses all the concerns mums and dads have about their children riding to school, from making sure a bike is in good condition, that children are confident to ride and that they can ride on a path away from the road,” said Ms Hargreaves.
“With videos, checklists and FAQs, all of your bike riding queries are covered. With help from our Ride2School program, there is no reason why any student shouldn’t be able to begin riding this term.”
Not just great for health
As well as making sure children get their recommended daily dose of exercise, riding to school has many benefits, including saving travel time for parents and developing children’s independence.
It also results in better school reports, with studies showing that students who are active pay more attention in class and perform better at subjects including reading and maths.
“Students that ride to school arrive energised and ready to learn. They’re happier and develop healthy habits that stick around for life,” added Ms Hargreaves.
Sam and his dad Darren know this and will be having a ball as they roll into school playing silly word games and powering their pedalling with pretend jet boosters.
They hope that many of Sam's classmates will realise just how good it is to ride to school and that they don't get bundled into giant silver SUVs to be dropped off in the usual panic in the side streets around Blackburn Lake Primary School.
Starting riding to school this term will also help students get a head start for National Ride2School Day on Friday 23 March, when more than 500,000 students around the country will get on their bikes to celebrate riding.
Click here to access the Ride2School Parent Portal or visit ride2school.com.au.