The Go Wild Go West blog

Cycling to School: Feature on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme

On the 9th November 2020 I (‘I’ being half of GoWildGoWest sister duo- Georgie Duckworth) was lucky enough to be featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme talking about cycling to school with my boys.

If anyone follows our Instagram stories, you’ll know that the morning cycle can be quite eventful… and we’re normally running late.. but it remains my favourite time of the day.

I wrote a piece for the BBC to share our morning fun – covering everything from the beautiful views we see, the benefits of spending time outdoors and the slightly wacky discussion topics we cover…. from dinosaurs to beetroot!

family cycling
Morning sunshine after rain

Family Cycling

Fancy having a go at family cycling? Take some extra time and enjoy the cycle to school if you can, or check out the Sustrans website which has lots of recommendations for car-free cycle paths, ideal for families.

Below is the transcript.

The Transcript

Every morning, I cycle down to school on the ‘school-run’ with my 6 & 8 year old boys. It’s a 25 minute cycle through the beautiful, quiet country lanes of the Chew Valley. We cycle no matter what the weather…. sunshine, frost, wind, rain (and living in Somerset, we get a lot of that!)

I love the cycle because we talk about everything that ISN’T Covid, or Brexit, or doom and gloom. We talk about dinosaurs, space, birds, rain, farms, cows, orangutans, Ancient Egyptians, beetroot…. whatever happens to pop into the children’s heads at that very moment. It’s the happiest time of my day and lets me do nothing other than enjoy the witty, and random inquisitiveness of children’s minds.

The roads are much quieter now that people are travelling less, and without having to worry so much about cars we’ve had more of a chance to enjoy everything around us. The clouds, the frogs hopping across the road, rescuing worms in the rain. In Spring and throughout summer we heard yellow hammers along our route and would have competitions for who would hear their distinctive call first. Recently the kids have been very excited about the giant puddles that they like to cycle through… I normally have to take a change of uniform down to school because they’re drenched by the time we arrive!

Before we started cycling, the school run was usually a chaotic whir of shouting and rushing and stress but now we’ve all learnt to really enjoy this time. It gives both me and the boys head space before starting the day.

Any time spent outdoors is especially important at the moment. Even if it’s only for this short time in the day, we can forget the world’s worries which is perfect for the children who I think are affected by this more than we as parents and adults know. It’s great to carve out a little time each day, or each week, to spend together outdoors.

More from Radio 4

You can also hear the chaos and fun we shared with Clare Balding as we walked with her for BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings programme.

You can see our dramatic cycle through Storm Dennis on our YouTube channel here.

Fancy joining us on a walk? Find out more about GoWildGoWest’s events here. Hopefully they’ll be back soon!