What are Bike Trains?
Bike trains are based on the same principles as walking school buses- parents and volunteers who accompany groups of children on bike rides to school. Bike Trains and are fun and active commuting alternatives for families and take careful planning and preparation in order to ensure safety.
There are several online guides and resources to help you organize your community bike train. We’ve narrowed the check list to include the key components of a bike train, and to help prepare you to do so safely.
It is strongly recommended that bike train participants practice bike handling and traffic safety skills before riding in a bike train, since you will be riding on the road. Helmets must be worn at all times while riding, both for protection and under King County law.
Bike Train Checklist
- Gather support
- Identify qualified parent volunteers or teachers who are interested in leading or supporting a bike train.
- Create a contact list with phone numbers and/or emails of interested people. Keep this list on file for future communication.
- Survey your community and plan your route, avoiding riding on busy streets.
Work with your school to identify side streets, local greenways, or trails to utilize as bike train routes. Plan multiple points along the way to pick up more passengers.
- Front and rear adult riders to make sure children are all ‘aboard’ together
- Appropriate spacing (one bike-distance between each passenger)
- Single file
- Train rules (using hand signals, no swerving, basic knowledge of bicycle safety, etc.)
Spread the word
Post a blurb in your school newsletter, local blog, community or library bulletin (include a brief description of what a bike train is along with your contact info)
Create a bike buzz!
Local businesses may be interested in sponsoring a Bike to School Day event. Reach out to owners and seek out mini-grants to support your efforts to be active!
Tips and Recommendations
One adult rider for every 2 or 3 children (may need to set a minimum age requirement)
Under 30 minute route
Bicycle Skills Course for children, parents and volunteers
First Aid Kit on hand, emergency phone and phone list
*Check your local city and county helmet laws. Cascade supports local helmet laws and encourages all riders to wear a helmet while on their bikes.