National Ride2School Day is the little sister of Ride2Work Day for commuters later in the year. Promoted by Bicycle Network, it is a special day that allows schools to celebrate cycling and other self-propelled ways of coming to school. It is also designed to encourage students to include bodily exercise in their regular travel to school. Experience suggests that besides such other advantages as encouraging self-reliance, mastering simple technology and enabling relations with other students, students who cycle, walk, scoot or skate to school children arrive at school more alert and attentive to the world around them. The day also provides an opportunity for schools to introduce children to ways of riding safely and caring for their bicycles, and to develop facilities for safe cycling and stabling bicycles securely.
When we reflect on our childhood we may recognise the importance of travel to school as a space between home and school. It is a journey between the predictable places of home and school. Just as holiday travel that involves a variety of trains, buses and walking marks a break from the rituals of home and work in a way that a flight and taxi doesn’t, so does cycling to school. It is a space in which the world engages us freshly rather than as passive observers. It is a time for exploring the new and not simply continuing the old. It has some the aspects of pilgrimage that were so important in an earlier ages, a time to be away from the ordinary and into a place of possibility, of finding side tracks to explore, little fears to face and survive, and ordinary things to notice.
Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
National Ride2School Day is on Friday 25 March 2022 and is organised by Bicycle Network.