Tour de Lab September 1st

Florida high schoolers show us how it’s done (video)

Posted by on October 25th, 2010 at 9:47 am

Getting to school.
– Watch the video below –

Several readers have shared an extremely inspiring video from Orlando that everyone should watch and share. It chronicles a student-run bike-to-school effort at Colonial High School in Central Florida that you just have to see to believe.

A few of the students have starting a cycling club and they meet in the morning to ride to school. What stood out to me in this video is how inclusive the group is. I was also impressed at how they are not discouraged by a lack of bikeways. They ride in two columns, taking up the entire lane when necessary. The students also show a lot of initiative by taking this on themselves. Watch the video below…

If these kids can make it happen; anyone, anywhere can make it happen.

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29 Comments
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    Charley October 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Sweet. I’ve wondered in the past why cyclists are such a social bunch. It’s become clear that people feel safer in larger groups. I think that can be a great thing.

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    Joe October 25, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Better than riding the Bus, Classic. love this.

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    travis October 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

    ha. i grew up in orlando and while i didn’t go to colonial, i know the school and area well. this is huge. –t

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    velowocky October 25, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Now THAT is a great way to start a Monday. Thanks Jonathan.

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    wally October 25, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Love it. But I do wish they wore helmets….

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    Manji312 October 25, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I lived and biked in Orlando before moving to Portland, and it is doubly cool when one considers that Colonial High School is tucked into an area blocked in by giant, busy six land roads. (Think 82nd) Orlando was not very bike friendly when I was there, so it is really great to see people making steps to change the culture there. With the always warm weather, usually sunny skies, and pretty much flat roads with no challenging hills, Orlando should be a place with lots of bike commuting. Instead a car centric approach to urban planning has created an environment that most would be afraid to bike in. It’s exciting to see these changes even though I am no longer there.

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    Anne Hawley October 25, 2010 at 10:39 am

    “If I drive a car, I need to get a job.”

    Hah! That kid has it all figured out. Excellent video. Very inspiring.

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    Kirsty October 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Love it!

    I also really loved this great film short looking at why teenage girls in the UK no longer cycle, & following a group of girls who started again –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M88sF-rvul0

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    Jerry_W October 25, 2010 at 10:59 am

    These kids are doing this on their own, while the Safe Routes to Schools program is costing lots of money with little to show but jobs for a few snotty advocate types.

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    Aaron October 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

    At the expense of feeding an internet troll, @Jerry_W I bet the kids profiled in this video might like the extra bike racks, safety features, and social programs that the SRTS program provides. And the SRTS landscaping costs pennies on the dollar compared to running and expanding a full-fledged network of school buses and parking lots.

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    Pete October 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Very cool! I walked over a mile to school as a kid then walked home to ride my bike around. It never occurred to me to use it to get to and from school, mainly because nobody else did it (and there were no bike racks, etc). Making it socially acceptable (or even hip) is a huge win!

    I like that they’re keen on signalling, too, though I kinda second the helmet sentiment. I could see one of them getting hurt and everybody else’s parents deciding it’s too dangerous. Looking at that kid with the nice Cervelo, though, I’d say someone’s parents get it.

    (My aforementioned after-school steed, a cranberry-colored steel Fuji Sports 12-speed, is still tooling around Portland streets to my knowledge… yeah, we’re both “vintage” ;).

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    Spiffy October 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    that’s awesome! nice to see a large group riding together…

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    Spiffy October 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    and especially nice given all the bicycle fatalities in Florida recently… hopefully this gets the attention of the motoring public…

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    Steve B October 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    “School is worth going to, because I get to ride my bike to school.”

    Hell yeah! Great video.

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    wally October 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    “School is worth going to, because I get to ride my bike to school.”

    This is kind of how I feel about work 🙂

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    chrisgunn October 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    @Steve B – that’s how I feel about work!

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    anon October 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Awesome!

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    Paul Tay October 25, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Thumbs…UP. Bike by Me: The two-tyred remake? Naaaaaaaaaaaaah.

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    Red Five October 25, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Lack of lighting, no helmets?

    And getting a job isn’t just about supporting a car. It’s about developing a work ethic and not having everything handed to you.

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    drew October 25, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    In the 60s there was a large bike parking lot at my school in Pasadena. It was well used. That bike parking area is gone now.

    Sometimes the best part of the day is the ride to or from school. Now it’s the ride to/from work.

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    Augustus October 26, 2010 at 12:27 am

    @ Red Five 19.
    Kind of missing the point aren’t you? Everything has to start somewhere. Were you fortunate enough to come from a background familiar in biking that promoted safety in helmets and road rules from the beginning? They are making an effort, pretty huge one at that for high school kids with no bike centric background. While I too wish they had helmets and bikes (and I am trusting they will soon)who is to chastise their efforts? I also do not believe that these kids, generally speaking, lack the ethic to seek a job and sit on their laurels since they are pursuing this endeavor that is clearly making a statement in their community. What statements did you make as a teenager to define yourself for the betterment of your community or environment? (rhetorical!) Perhaps you could educate them that obeying all traffic laws (as they have made an effort to do) should be followed up with personal safety such as helmets and lights.

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    Mike October 26, 2010 at 3:36 am

    I used to ride the tri met from garden home out to 162nd and Div. To go to Lu-Hi . If I missed the bus I could jump on my white puegot 10 speed and beat the bus out there. But I flew to do it. Fun times.

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    malka October 26, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Thanks for posting this! I appreciated the comment of the young man who said the ride made going to school worth it because he got to ride his bike–that’s how I feel about going to work!

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    Nate October 26, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Don’t worry, if you look closely you’ll notice that they’re all wearing Hövding’s!!

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    jv October 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I am glad that they are not wearing helmets, thus making biking look like a safe, accessible way to get to school that doesn’t require a fancy bike or special clothes. They are riding predictably, watching for traffic, and signaling, which provides real safety. Bike lights would be nice though…

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    Michael M. October 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Nice! In terms of ‘a bunch of people riding together,’ this kind of thing seems so much more positive and productive than something like Critical Mass. I wonder how much more progress we’d have made if groups of cycling commuters gather every morning or every evening to take the common route between N. Portland and downtown together, as a group, doing as these kids do by riding two abreast, taking a lane when necessary.

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    rev October 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    beauty! just enough sappy piano, too. Tanx JMaus!

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    Kate October 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Michael M., let’s do it. Safe Routes to Work seems like it would help bring in that huge “interested but fearful” demographic.

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    Steve October 28, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I finally had a moment to sit down and watch this. I’m so glad I did. My faith in humanity…restored.

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