School run rant OR ‘How it’s a bit better to get there swifter and in more healthy fashion’


Can I rant? Can I? CAN I? Come on. I need to. Let’s call it therapy.

I rode to my daughter’s school this morning. It was super, smashing, lovely, great (as Jim Bowen would say). The sun threw a billion electromagnetic particles at us as the autumn morning unfolded. We rode side by side. She danced and nipped. Nothing induces a smile more than a happy child on a bike. Heck, the road conditions were even good. Fast even. Then we get to the school.

It was chaos.

It must be National ‘drive your child to school, smash through the gates, into the lobby, across the hall, into the classroom and up to the desk’ day. Cars jockeyed for position to see who could get closest. I reckon the winner managed to eliminate all of the possible space between passenger footwell and school gate in EXACTLY the same way that the Event horizon collapsed space and time to cross the galaxy in the movie of the same name. Fair play. img_5447That’s Olympic class sedentarism right there. Then things all got a little huffy. A local resident was looking less than chuffed at the parental roadblock closing off the thoroughfare (The ‘great school siege’ as it will eventually be known). Even being on a bike was no guarantee of a swift exit. I was practising cyclo-cross dismounts while hopping from road to pavement to road again (and I really had no idea – none – that double yellow lines actually mean ‘feel free to park here’. But then I’m just a dozy, cyclist schlub).  As the time got closer to 8.55am, a line of whizzing cars stretching into infinity were all forced to brake in unison over ever diminishing stopping distances like a huge steel concertina. I love the smell of overheating brake discs in the morning. Fortunately for me, I had upheld my end of the bargain, with a young lady delivered to school on time with a lungful of fresh(ish) air and legs full of happy. I rode in the opposite direction beaming from ear to ear as I both got exercise AND got away quicker.

There.

Thanks for that. You’ve been a great help. Much appreciated.

🙂

Footnote: Of course I’m exaggerating. But it was undeniably busy, there were cars blocking the road and at least two residents visibly frustrated. Walking, scooting or cycling to school is good for everyone; healthier for the kids, it saves a few bob, Stress levels drop. But for parents who have absolutely no choice but to drive, relax. We often need to use the motor from time to time. I do have one suggestion however. If forced to drive the kids to school, why not park a little further out and walk the last bit? Any distance travelled by foot or wheel will benefit everyone. 

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