Monday, August 16, 2010

School's In

If you go to public school in San Francisco, then today is the first day of school! My kids are public school all the way, and this morning, they each decided to start the year with a bicycle commute.

First School Bicycle Commute

Declan decided quite a while ago that he wanted to emulate his older brother and ride to school (he is in Kindergarten this year). It is only two blocks away, but the lure of a morning ride and his very own bike lock was too much to deny.

Leg Powered

It was really nice to see a lot more people walking to school than in years prior. There were still a number of people in cars, but the morning traffic tangle was nothing like I have seen it in the past.

Lock Up

The school has a bicycle rack, but it has still not been bolted into the ground (almost a year after receiving it!) so we used one of the polls outside the school. It works out fine and as I had to pass this spot a few times today, it was nice to see Declan's bicycle parked out there waiting for him.

Into The Fog & Off To 6th Grade

This year, Úna starts Middle School as she is the 6th grade. New school, new friends, new commute. Her school is only a mile and a half from home, but it is on the other side of the hill. She decided to take the long way around through a rather busy business district instead of climb the hill so I went with her, following behind to see how she handled the streets.

She had to pass between City College of San Francisco (the largest community college and the second largest learning institute of any type in the United States) and Riordan High School which was a tangled mess of traffic and random jay walking pedestrians. It was so busy I couldn't take pictures of her riding through it like it was nothing (just like how people in India don't seem to notice the traffic and crowds there). She was fantastic and did everything right.


Once we got past the college mess, it was a short trip through a business district she is very familiar with. There was construction all over it, but after a short stint on the sidewalk, she got around it with no problem and made it to school on time with no stress (unlike the 5 blocks of tangled car traffic around the school building!!!! What kind of madness is this?).

I was uncomfortable with the amount of traffic on her chosen route. It will calm down in a couple of weeks, like it does every year, but until then I am going to make sure she goes over the hill instead. She had no problem negotiating the craziness this morning, but I would not feel comfortable letting her go on her own and the whole point is for her to do this by herself. Next time, we'll try the hill route which is much less busy and crazy.

Over all, a good day. All three of the kids got to where they were going under their own power. They all took the next steps in the process of growing up. I love it!


  1. you're a great mom!!!

    what a nice 1st day in school!!!

    Declan's rock n ur daughter too :)

    keep riding and safety

  2. I don't love it I'm worried sick but it's got to happen. I'm worn out just reading about it. I imagine the kids passed it off as nothing of course, they always do.

  3. awesomeeeeeeee school rules!! :D

  4. And they both can be described in 4 words:

    too cool for school !!!!!

    but given the situation and adding some simple aritmethics we get:

    2 cools riding 2 schools

  5. h n'r- They are great kids.

    o.f.- Like all kids they can't figure out what the fuss is all about. They just go and worry about it never : ) Most people love the baby stage, but I have always loved the teen years with kids. They are just so neat to be around when they get a little bit older : )

    meli- Declan came out of the building at the end of the day with a huge smile and declared it to be the "best day EVER!!" : )

    Alex- they are waaaaaay too cool for my good : D

  6. i am happy for the children, that they can ride to school. when i was a little man, i used to walk close to 4 miles to school, every day. it wasn't until, i was in 9th grade, that i was occasionally allowed to ride my dad's bike to school.

    if it is a safe ride and you can teach'em (like you do), then it is a great way to stay in shape and help the environment.

    peace :)

  7. This is such a happy story.2 subjects closest to my heart. Support of public schools and cycling, and you manage to combine them.Brilliant!!~ian,Melbourne

  8. I like this story!
    You are apparently a great mum, having raised such adorable kids. :)


  9. The little dude is great, I can only imagine what's going through his head, it looks like he's being his own superhero.
    Your kids are awesome, and after a nice ride I'm sure they arrive at class with their brains all fired up and ready to go, unlike some others, I'm sure.

  10. this is so fantastic!!! you must be so proud! congrats to you and the kids!

  11. Una is so awesome. All your kids are! A reflection on good parenting!

  12. chandra- Our oldest boy is having to share bicycles with his Dad these days : ) He is taking over our xtracycle!

    Ian- The kids at school saw my daughter locking up her bicycle at the rack in front of the school and they all were talking about bringing their own the next day. We shall see.

    Z- Thank you!

    Bill- the little one is most certainly channeling his inner-superhero : )

    D-Rod- I hope they are still riding when they get to college!

    dc- I am very proud of the kids. My daughter came home on her own today (over the hill). She does not need me with her at all : )

    Kristin- She is indeed a great kid! Thanks!

  13. "She does not need me with her at all"

    They never do as often as most parents seem to think they do (of course when they do they really, REALLY do).

    ". . .they all were talking about bringing their own the next day. We shall see."

    If Una learns to just casually drop the phrase "I don't need my mommy just to take me someplace," she'll have them flocking to their bikes. Be prepared for the fact to some mommies might think this indicates that you and yours are setting a bad example. Wat's wit dat?

  14. New to your blog, but loving it. I have 4 kids in the same school bulding this year so we are hoping to ride 3X/wk. The younger two are only 3 and ride in the Madsen but the 7 and 10 year olds have their own bikes. 2.5 miles. Uphill to school, downhill home.
    School just started,so so far so good! I'll be checking back in!

  15. kfg- Úna is a little uncomfortable being a "role model", but more and more of the kids are talking about riding to school and bike are starting to show up in the racks!

    Heather- Welcome! We would love to hear more about your family and how you all get around! Send us some pictures and a story!!!!