Young students prefer bikes over buses to get to school - WSMV Channel 4

Young students prefer bikes over buses to get to school

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Each morning, yellow school buses fill Nashville's roads taking students to class. But in East Nashville, a different type of "bus" is getting students to school.

Called the East Nashville bike bus, it's peddle-powered by many young legs.

The group, mostly made up of middle school students, pedal toward East Nashville Magnet School.

"It's a great excuse to ride our bikes more," said eighth grader Brandon Creek.

Among the young cyclists is fifth grader Uma Plambeck, who had to wait until she started fifth grade to join the pack.

"They passed my house. I got to watch them ride every day, and now I get to ride too. Its fun," said Uma.

"It was a really nice way to make the transition into a new school, to already feel a part of something," said Uma's mother Sara Plambeck.

Francie Hunt started the East Nashville Bike Bus last school year as a way for her daughter and some friends to get to school.

The amount of bikers has quickly grown.

Before the East Nashville Bike Bus even pulls up at school, those peddling on it are already learning lessons about communication, health and a little more about their neighborhood.

"Biking requires independence, judgment and some self-reliance, so that was really for me one of the benefits I hadn't been expecting from creating this whole thing," said Hunt.

Hunt said each student learns bike safety, and a few parents always ride along to keep a watchful eye.

As for how this compares to the real bus, these riders say they prefer the two-wheeled kind.

"It's just fun to get fresh air on your face instead of being in a hot bus with crowded people," said fifth grader Ella Hagewood.

This takes about 12 minutes and this gets you awake," said Calvin Parrack fifth-grade student.

 Hunt said the bike bus isn't affiliated with the school system in any way and run by a group of neighborhood parents.

If you're interested in starting your own bike bus, contact Hunt at Eastside Cycles at (615) 469-1079.

Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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