Massachusetts Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day 

(L-R): Corinne Brandt, Aadhya Vinodh and Liya Patel arrived early to meetup and head to school as a group as part of Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day. Staff Photo

The forecast calling for afternoon showers and the cooler temperatures this morning may have kept the numbers down, but Bedford families still gathered to celebrate the Massachusetts Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day. 

Massachusetts Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day is celebrated annually across the state around the first week in May as part of the MassDOT Safe Routes to School initiative. In Bedford, the effort has historically been supported by Healthy Bedford, Bedford’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, Lane School, and Davis School. Walk, Bike and Roll to School days have been celebrated in town for the past 15 years, including International Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day which happens annually in October.

The idea of Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Days is to encourage physical activity, foster community, reduce traffic congestion, reduce carbon emissions, get families outside, and/or inspire independence. 

The bike rack at Lane School. Staff Photo

As in most years, this year Davis and Lane students, along with their families, were invited to meet up at points prior to the school bell in the morning for a chaperoned walk, bike, or roll to school. 

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Mark Bailey and Craig Jackson, volunteers from the Bicycle Advisory Committee, waited to greet any Lane School students needing a chaperone on the Narrow Gauge Trail. Both hope that more kids riding to school will reduce morning traffic congestion in the short term, but also add to lifelong bicycle commuters – Bailey, himself, was riding his bike to work in Boston after the morning’s event.

Bailey appreciates that these bike-to-school events help Lane School-age students discover independence. He said that often students “get hooked biking to school at Lane and continue to ride their bikes to school when they get to JGMS.” Jackson agreed, saying that kids, especially JGMS age, appreciate the independence, to “hop on their bikes at the end of the day and go where they want to go.” 

Over at Davis School, it was the first time participating in Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day for each of the few students and their families who met up with Davis School staff members in the Lutheran Church parking lot. 

Davis School student Aadhya Vinodh was ready for the walk dressed for this chillier-than-typical May morning with a winter coat and earmuffs. In the small talk before the trek to the school doors, Aadhya’s father admitted the family had moved from Florida and the first grader has been looking forward to New England snow. Meanwhile, Corinne Brandt, a second grader ready to ride her bike to school with the small group, was talking about riding her bike this summer – to Bedford Farms where her mom would treat her to ice cream. Both kids will likely get their frosty dreams before the year is out, and we can hope which will happen first!

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