Written by Moretti, RiseVT Wellness Specialist
Some of the sure signs of Spring in South Hero: the ice goes out, trees bloom, and the Bike Train sponsored by South Hero Recreation Department starts back up. For the last four or five years, Dr. Hobbs of the Rec Department has been organizing the weekly caravan of cyclists to and from school. While some of the older students have already begun riding their bikes to school during the good weather, this chaperoned trek allows the younger students to safely ride to the Folsom Education and Community Center (Folsom School) as well. They get practice being comfortable riding with a group and on busy streets.
The train comes in from three different routes. Carol is an experienced rider who leads one of the trains. She picks up her grandchildren Garrison and Forrer, and then meets up with other riders along the way. The boys agree that it is a lot of fun. “The downhills are the best part,” said Garrison. “I like the potholes!” said his brother Forrer, “I like to jump them.” Carol tries to get in 100 miles on her bike each week. “This gets me on the road and spending time with the kids,” she said. She is preparing for a long-distance bike tour, so any chance she has to get on a bike, she’ll take.
Dr. Hobbs leads another route with his grandchildren, picking up students along that route as well. He is excited to get students back on their bikes and riding to school. Every rider must have a bike in working order and a helmet. “We had a good turnout today for our first one of the season,” he said. “We are looking forward to adding more riders.” The 7th and 8th grade students are out of state on their annual class trip; otherwise they would have been joining the train as well. Gwenny is happy that using bikes uses less fuel “that pollutes the earth.” Some of the other riders in the train said they were able to sleep in a little. All agreed that it is fun to start the day with a bike ride. “It gives me an opportunity to get in exercise and gets me ready for the day,” said another rider.
The Bike Train will run every Wednesday morning through the end of school, with the intention of starting again at the beginning of the school year.