The Sweet Pursuit

Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive

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Riding the Bicycle School Bus

2/8/2012 3:32:06 PM

Tags: bicycles, De Cafe Racer, commuting, education, obesity, community, environment, Kate Malongowski, Michael J. Coren, YES Magazine, Co.Exist, Margret Aldrich, Margret Aldrich

De Cafe Racer poster 

Have you ever wondered how the exuberant energy of elementary school–aged children might be harnessed and put to good use? It seems the Dutch company De Café Racer has found a way, with a kid-powered bicycle intended to replace the traditional school bus.

The bike is pedaled by 1 adult (who is essential for steering and safety’s sake) and up to 10 children, reports Kate Malongowski in YES! Magazine. Designed for kids ranging in age from 4 to 12, the bike can reach a speed of 10 miles per hour, is available in a variety of colors—including blue, purple, red, and school-bus yellow—and has adjustable seats to accommodate its growing riders’ extra inches. In addition, the ride comes with a music system, a canvas cover to ward off rain, and an auxiliary electric motor for when the hills get too steep or the pedal pushers run out of steam.

The innovative cycle is beneficial on several levels, such as reducing pollution and combating childhood obesity, and De Café Racer hopes it will catch on outside of the Netherlands. So far, the company has sold about 25 of the bikes in Europe and has received inquiries from buyers in North America and South America as well.

When Co.Exist spoke with the bicycle’s builder, Thomas Tolkamp, about how he thinks the idea will fare internationally, he said that people from around the globe are intrigued: “We have gotten interest from…all over the world and all people are positive.”

Sources: YES! Magazine, Co.Exist 

Margret Aldrich is an associate editor at Utne Reader. Follow her on Twitter at @mmaldrich.

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