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What is a bike train?
A bike train is a group of people that bike together on a pre-planned route. There are meet up points along the way where families join the train. Bike Trains are fun, comfortable, safe, and help create a community of riders. Kids arrive to school more attentive and ready to learn and schools are safer because you have more eyes on the street. Bike trains are about creating an opportunity, however change only happens when people participate.
If you would like help starting a bike train email bike train pdx. We can provide biking incentives for schools, go out and help lead the first few bike trains, talk with your school PTA/PTO about making the bike train an official PTA/PTO sponsored event (which covers the bike trains under their insurance). We can also offer to come to your school in the morning and do a bike to school day event to support a bike train and talk to families about joining.
Unless otherwise listed the bike trains officially operate one day every week (to give parents and kids a break) and only in the mornings (it is too difficult to consistently coordinate with after school programs, etc…)
Kiel Talks About Bike Trains On NBC’s Show School Pride
Biketrainpdx.org was started by Kiel Johnson in 2010 as a way to create a citywide community for bike trains. After graduating from college and unable to find a job doing what he wanted to do Kiel decided to just go out and do it. So in 2009, Kiel helped organize a bike train from Beach School which proved very successful. Using that as a model Kiel has tried to spread bike trains to schools throughout Portland. The goal is to have a bike train running at every single school in Portland.
Bike Train PDX is very fortunate to be a member group of Umbrella 501 (C)3. Umbrella’s mission is to encourage and enhance community-based street culture, alternative transportation, and art and the environment in the street. Umbrella does not organize events or take a leadership role in sponsored projects — rather, it serves as a fiscal sponsor, lending its nonprofit status to help projects secure financial and in-kind support by making donations tax deductible. They have lent this support to Bike Train PDX.
Here are some guidelines to help make your bike train more successful and safer:
-Ride with at least one parent in front and one in back
-Before you start to ride talk about how to ride safely (no tricks, stay on the road, stay at the same pace as everyone else)
-Communication is important when biking in groups. Point out hazards, and announce with arm signals when you are turning or stopping. Remember to communicate with other parents as well, texting is a great way to tell everyone if there is a change to a stop one morning or if you can’t make it.
-Make yourself visible! Get signs and banners that say “bike train” on them. This will not only make is so more cars see you but make it so other parents will be interested in participating as well.
-If your group gets too big and you don’t feel comfortable leading that many people break the train into two smaller groups and have one go ahead of the other. Do what makes you feel comfortable.
Biketrainpdx.org is the place for updated information regarding bike trains at several Portland schools. We will post stories and pictures from people’s experiences.
Bike Trains in the media:
NBC School Pride Show
Streetfilm Featuring the Beach Bike Train
If you are interested in starting a bike train at your school and want your route listed please email email@example.com ).