Event Ideas for Bike to School Day 2021 

Bike to School Day is a way to support unchanging community goals in a time of great change, whether the goal is to strengthen community connections, promote physical activity, advance road safety, reduce motor vehicle trips, celebrate the benefits of walking and rolling or something else. 

Whether you’re encouraging individual families to celebrate, organizing a neighborhood-wide event or recognizing the day on a school campus, there are ways to be part of Bike to School Day. 

Get inspiration from event ideas submitted by Walk and Bike to School Day organizers around the country below. Then, register your family, neighborhood or school here! 

Check out tips for walking and rolling while social distancing from San Mateo County Office of Education and King County Metro Transit, and be sure whatever you promote aligns with local public health guidance. 

Families  

Encourage students to join a “virtual walk” or “virtual bike” with their families, neighbors or on their own and report their mileage. Tally up the mileage and share the total miles covered by the school.   

-Create a “traffic garden” in the school parking lot using chalk. Invite families to bring their bikes and practice their biking skills. Encourage coming on a specific day of the week depending on last name to minimize the chances of several families using it at the same time (for example, students with last names A–F would be invited to bike the garden on Monday).

-Encourage families to participate in any kind of outdoor physical activity, whether it’s running, walking, riding, rolling or something else.  If students are remote, they can share pictures of their activity with classmates to build a sense of shared experience. 

Build a schedule of activities for the week of Bike to School Day with a different theme every day. For inspiration, check out the lineup below and make adjustments to make it work for your community: 

-Ask teachers and local political figures to engage in a virtual “walk or roll to school.” Each person records a shareable video of themselves walking to a local school, demonstrating safe behaviors and commenting on the benefits of active transportation (such as number of steps walked, observing wildlife, waving to neighbors).   

-Find volunteers to film themselves walking or rolling along various routes to school. Compile the footage into a video to send out to the school community with a suggestion to get outside. For inspiration, check out this video a PE teacher in Keizer, OR, created after biking various routes to the school as a way to encourage students walk or roll for Walk to School Day 2020go.unc.edu/g7BMb. 

Neighborhoods  

Meet at the neighborhood entrance with posters and take a physically distanced walk or roll. Let residents know about the event beforehand and encourage them to wave when the group passes their homes.  

Organize a virtual advocacy day of action to address road safety concerns in your neighborhood or on the route to school.   

Plan a route past each student’s home to “pick up” students along the way. If it’s too far, designate a few centralized “stops.” Walk or roll together to a park or other special neighborhood feature.   

Create a neighborhood challenge to reach a certain number of steps or minutes spent walking during the week or entire month.  

Ask families to share pictures or videos of their walks on social media (and tag #BiketoSchoolDay to share with the wider Bike to School Day community).  

Draw chalk rainbows or leave painted rocks around the neighborhood and challenge students to find them all in a scavenger hunt. 

Schools  

Keep it simple and congratulate students and families for walking and biking to school using school communications channels such as a school newsletter or social media post. You could also remind them of the health benefits they’re gaining and that they’re helping reduce private vehicle traffic around the school.  

Challenge students to commit to walking or biking to school a certain number of days in May 

-Start a conversation with school and local government staff about whether it’s possible to change a street around the school to make more space for walking and rolling on a regular basis. NACTO and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center provide options and guidance.   

Use the day to bring attention to the need for drivers to slow down and funding needed for sidewalks.   

Create an online form for students to “check in” for Walk to School events to include in-person learners physically walking to school as well as e-learners who are walking around their neighborhood for an exercise break during their school day.  

Ask PE teachers to send home information about the value of walking and biking and importance of safety. Encourage everyone to take a walk or roll at home.   

Acknowledgments  

Thank you to all the Walk and Bike to School Day organizers who suggested event ideas for various learning environments. The ideas in this document were informed by organizers in the following cities:  

Alexandria, VA  

Apex, NC   

Atlantic Beach, FL  

Blythewood, SC 

Carmichael, CA   

Collingswood, NJ  

Creve Coeur, MO  

Duluth, MN  

Eugene, OR 

East Wenatchee, WA  

Elgin, IL  

Hadley, MA  

Keizer, OR 

McCloud, OK   

Milwaukee, WI   

Moscow, ID  

Orlando, FL  

Spartanburg, SC  

Springdale, AR  

Suawanee, GA  

Tampa, FL  

Tarboro, NC  

Whittet, MI  

Yadkinville, NC