Instructional and inspirational video of Ethan riding to school

By Ali Jafarey,
Ali and his son Ethan cycle to school

When we spotted that one of our Schools Officers, Ali Jafarey, who works on the Bike It Plus project in London, had made this brilliant video of his son Ethan’s bike ride to school, along with some expert instructional commentary, we thought it would be a great video blog to share with other parents who are considering riding to school with their children.

Ali says:

“Ethan learnt to ride when he was 4 years old and was on roads by the time he was 5.

“Even being an experienced and lifelong cyclist left me in a cold sweat, thinking of him on London’s busy roads. Working as a cyclist in a professional capacity only slightly cushioned the impact of the dreaded day when we would venture onto the wilderness of the open road.

I made this video of Ethan riding to school as part instructional and part inspirational, so parents may gain courage and comfort in the fact that such things are possible.

- Ali Jafarey,
Sustrans Schools Officer

“We are lucky to live in a quiet suburb of London. At first I chose days and times when I knew there would be less traffic on the roads. I took Ethan to a local cul-de-sac where he could get a feel of the road and be amongst the enormity of cars and trucks.

“I took Ethan out as often as possible, not always for fun rides but as a way of getting to the library, shops, etc. With every venture I could see his desire to ride getting stronger. Now riding is his accepted and indeed his preferred way to get around.

“I must say getting to the point we are today has not been plain sailing, far from it. There have been many stressful times for us and still, though he looks amazing on the bike, there are times when boys-will-be-boys and the freedom of an open road is too irresistible.

“I can only hope that Ethan continues riding throughout his life, but if not at least I tried!”

We have lots more advice about cycling with children, including information about the the school run, teaching your child to ride and cycling safety for children.

You can also read more about Sustrans’ work with Schools and Ali’s own blog about the project he works on.