Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seniors suspended for riding their bikes to school? Can some good come of it?


A few friends posted a few links about the Kenowa Hills schools principal who suspended 65 seniors for riding their bikes to school. 

Here's the article:

Here's Ms. Pennington's apology:

I liked what she said. It seems obvious to me that she overreacted, but that everyone could have handled things better.  Are we all better now?  Can we move on from this? 

Not quite yet.  I'm a bike guy that rides everywhere.   I gotta ask why a police escort is needed to ride your bike to school.  I thought that might be a good opportunity to see if some good can come of this whole thing...  So I wrote a quick email to the superintendent of Kenowa Hills Public Schools.   Will it do much?  Who knows.  Gotta try though. :D

Rock on, folks. 

I love you!



My letter to Kenowa Hills school district superintendent Gerald Hopkins:

Dear Mr. Hopkins.

My name is Pete Beers and I'm just a normal person that rides his bike a lot in the suburbs of Washington, DC.  I read a little about your neck of the woods this week and thought I'd write. 

I imagine you've received a lot of contact about the whole "bike to school prank" thing.  I'll be brief and constructive.  Ms. Pennington overreacted and gave what came off as a heart-felt apology.  Lots of things could have been handled better by all people involved.  It sounds like things worked out well in the end. 

Could this be a good time to maybe take a look at why a police escort is needed for a student to ride their bike to work?  I know it isn't an easy issue because it involves a lot of people and groups in the community.  There's a group that specifically works on this issue.  They are my friends at the Bikes Belong foundation.   Riding a bike to school, or anywhere else for that matter, cures so many problems that we are facing these days.

You've got a great, spirited bunch of students in your school district.  Perhaps this can be a cause that y'all can take up together.  Make the whole community a better and more sustainable place to live and move.

Please find a few links with a little information on how to turn this whole thing into a positive gain for the school, Ms. Pennington, the district and the community.

Best wishes,

Pete Beers
Falls Church, Virginia.

Bikes Belong's Safe Routes to School National Partnership:

Safe Routes to School:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm in the mood for love...

Okay.  I'll get this out of the way now... I'm the world's worst blogger.  Sorry about that, y'all. 

Now on to the topic for the day. 

If y'all know me at all, you're familiar with my rather odd way of dealing with conflict and aggression while riding a bicycle.  I had a good example yesterday. 

There's a cyclist who I encounter almost every day... often twice per day, who passes people very close, with no warning and riding REALLY fast.  He also salmons (rides the wrong way on a one way street) down Lee Highway into Rosslyn.  I've asked him a few times to please give a little more room and announce his passes.  He used to respond politely, but not change his behavior.  Last week he started just telling me to shut up. 

Last night on my way home he did a particularly obnoxious pass and cut between a stroller and a dog walker at high speed in order to keep from having to slow down.  That kinda set me into action.  I chased him down and sat on his wheel singing the song "I'm in the mood for love" (Doris Day version... not the Nat King Cole version) while on his back wheel.  Best part is that I really don't know the words... so I just filled in a lot of nonsense.  

Eventually he asked me to stop (It seemed like 20 minutes later...  It was probably more like 5 minutes).  I told him that I'd stop when he promised to pass more safely.  He agreed.  I wished him a nice evening, turned around and headed for home.  We'll see what happens. 

Love overcomes all obstacles!