NSW Bike Week was held from 18th to 25th September and now today we have Ride to Work Day, neither of which have a direct impact at school, but they do promote the importance of good health and reducing our carbon footprint, so they are things that could be picked up as discussion starters with children. The Ride to Work website proudly states that 'over one hundred and fifty thousand Australian workers are expected to join the commuter revolution and ride to work.' I rode my bike to school every day during primary school and the school had rows and rows of bike racks. Granted it was in a flat country town and another era but it was an extremely enjoyable and sociable way to get to school. Now I swear at the bike riders who are riding their bike slowly and seemingly obliviously in the middle of the transit lane as I drive to school along a very busy commuter route. How times change.
There is a new book in the shops at the moment, simply called The Bicycle which would make a good follow up to any bike discussion you were having with children. It is a celebration of the bicycle in illustration put together by Colin Thompson as a result of a trip to Cambodia with Save the Children Fund. He writes about how this wonderful book came to be, here on the Readings website. A wide range of wonderful children's book illustrators, fifteen in total have contributed, including Quentin Blake and Shaun Tan and a favourite of mine, Freya Blackwood.
Then if the children are inspired by this book and the reasons behind it, Kate Petty's book for Oxfam, Bicycles will allow children to see the role bikes do play in developing countries.