23 October 2010

While They're Waiting for Infrastructure....

... these kids in Florida are taking matters into their own hands. What a great little video about high school students joining forces to ride their bicycles to school.


Ryan said...

Great video. Nice to see the younger people in Florida starting to ride their bikes to school. Hopefully they'll continue to do so throughout high school as well as after.

I could only find the 07-08 stats, but Orlando (which I believe is where they are) ranked #1 for the most dangerous city to be a pedestrian in...Wouldn't think it is any better to be a cyclist either.

Rob said...

Awesome. I think the statement they are making about sharing the road is profound.
A big group like that seems to be a good way to get seen.
I hope they aren't travelling down any narrow single lanes though.

Kevin said...

This makes me happy!

Janice in GA said...

I've been following the CommuteOrlando.com blog. Honestly, I'm surprised the cops haven't pulled these kids over for "obstructing traffic." :(

And around my part of the world, I'm sad to say that a group riding like that would cause huge levels of road rage in the drivers behind them. :(

It's sad.

BG said...


It's amazing to hear American kids say that they're just not that into the car culture. This is the future. It's happening, now. So unbelievably good.

Interesting to note, too, that nobody in the video is wearing a helmet. Clearly, in their social/cultural world that would be a deal-killer. Bike advocates, take note: people want to ride bikes and they don't want to wear helmets. This, too, is the future.

I grew up in Central Florida and can tell you that it's one of the worst places on the planet for biking -- so if these kids can do it there, I'm pretty sure it can happen anywhere.

Edward Scoble said...

They show us that we don't need infrastructure in order to ride their bike.

brilliant stuff, the more drivers get used to cyclists around, the better.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah! A bike bus!

Patrick said...

What a pleasure to see (cool) teenagers on bikes!

In Belgium, we've got a project (less spontaneous because supported by the schools, one NGO and cities).
The principle is that a teenager escort a kid by bike on the road to school. The projetct is called Génération Tandem Scolaire (http://generationtandemscolaire.wordpress.com/)

Green Idea Factory said...

Non-mandatory infrastructure. Like what's on wider streets in NYC. Not like in Copenhagen.

Brandt said...

What a fantastic video. It excites me to see this happen because the car culture has such a grip on the youth of this country that it's a cause for concern. Hopefully they'll set an example for neighboring schools and school districts in other counties. And hopefully this will also push the local authorities to get some bike lanes and racks out there.

I definitely share their feelings about it too, since I recently started using my bike for most of my trips (I live in Miami, three counties down from them). Even though sometimes it takes longer, it is definitely worth it. I'm going to spread this video around as much as I can.

pdxislander said...

We have so many communities in this country which are considered hostile territory for both pedestrians and bicycle riders, but if enough people can make their presence known the infrastructure generally follows(in numbers makes it safer!).

If there are no specific statutes for what bike riders must do, following general traffic laws should keep a traffic cop from pulling them over. One isn't obstructing traffic unless they're obstructing all lanes -- otherwise, cars can simply pass in a passing lane as they would safely pass any other slower vehicle such as a tractor, &c.

I love youth innovators like this! Great video!

rhodes 32 said...

While filming the segment I was starting to tear. These kids are smarter, greener and more together then most of the adults. Terms began to develop "laneism and laneists" much like racism and racists the public lanes are ruled by biased bullies. The cost of energy and health
not healthcare will mandate the coming changes innovated by wisdom, youth and tenacity.

John Schubert said...

Great video by Robert Seidler. I've met some of these kids and their fantastic teacher, Mr. Ross.
But your title needs editing. These kids could not do this trip if they had bicycle-specific infrastructure. Yep, you read me right.
Here's why: bicycle-specific infrastructure requires cyclists to go so slowly. And the Orlando bike bus riders go about five miles. One has to ride slowly in bike lanes, barrier separated bike lanes, and other such facilities to avoid collisions.
How much slower? I rode and timed the New York City's Grand Street cycletrack, stopped at all the lights, and my average speed was 6 mph. How many people will be willing to select a bicycle for a five-mile journey at that speed?
This is one of many reasons why European utility cycling practices don't import into the U.S. without modification. Europeans city trip distances tend to be much shorter. They created the 'rolling pedestrian' model of bicyclist behavior for short trip distances. Rare is the Amsterdam cyclist who rides five miles to work at Dutch speed. Rarer still is the American who wants to start doing that.
- John Schubert, Limeport.org

Edward Scoble said...

John, very good post, what you describe already happen in the UK (London), especially since the UK law stated that bicycle lane is compulsory, which is something that should exist in all European countries (some are mandatory).

Dans Pen said...

That made me feel warm and fuzzy inside... EXCEPT, for the kid riding a Cervélo S1. Wha... sick bike, spoiled kid!!! All the same that was a nice vid, I hope that this idea catches like wildfire.

keep pedaling

Brandt said...

To everyone who commented about them obstructing traffic: you're wrong. You can't obstruct traffic if you are the traffic.