Adding Up – Some Quick Walking to School Math


Full bike rack in Crozet

My daughter’s school had a “Walk to School day” a few weeks in which nearly 90% of the student body walked to school. My little one was interviewed by the local news; in response to the question, “why do you like to walk or ride bikes to school?” her answer was the one she and I talk about all the time –

“It saves gas, it’s better for the environment, we exercise and I get to spend time with my daddy”

For the past few years I’ve been trying to ride my bicycle around Charlottesville and Crozet because it’s healthy, it saves me gas money and “riding to work” is something more and more of my clients are seeking. (Young Americans aren’t buying cars anymore, and cars and their associated costs are expensive) Better to know first hand what the bicycle commute will be for my clients than not, right?

But this “riding a bike for errands and to school” has become more than I expected.

Baby steps matter. Think of this stuff in “times a million math”:

Distance from home to school and back: about 4 miles.

Done 75 times a year: 300 miles.

If 50 more kids at her school were to walk or ride bikes to school, and then at every other school in Albemarle and Charlottesville … we might be on to something. Perhaps evening a walking to school and saving gas revolution. 🙂

I was told yesterday that there are ~ 4,000 kids in Albemarle County high schools … I wonder how many of those live less than 2 miles from their respective schools and could walk or ride bikes given the opportunity.

* As an aside, one of the key things that walking and riding bikes to school is that my daughter knows how to and is not fearful of crossing the road by herself. (she hasn’t done it yet, but she could … if my wife would let her. 🙂 )

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