It is 7 a.m.. The alarms waking up the high school’s 2,080 students ring. Students get dressed, eat breakfast and prepare their backpack for the busy day ahead. Now, imagine a world where those same students open their front doors and safely pedal to school on bicycles. This is the culture that the Biking Down Barriers Club strives to create.
The club, which is new this year, was founded by four juniors who share a meaningful passion for biking. The goals of the club are increasing the accessibility and safety of biking. The club is rapidly gaining membership and plans to hold short X-block information sessions in the future to promote the environmental and communal benefits of biking.
Junior and co-founder Ilan Luszczynski-Williams said the club wants to show solidarity with climate movements through real action.
“A part of the biking aspect that we want to emphasize is the environment,” Luszczynski-Williams said. “Biking is a no-carbon emissions mode of transportation, and we want to support that.”
Luszczynski-Williams said that although many students and residents in Brookline either own or have access to a bike, they often need more resources to ensure the highest possible level of safety while riding.
“A problem for people are lights, bells and other safety devices that make biking safer, especially at nighttime,” Luszczynski-Williams said. “We want to make these things more accessible for people so that biking is actually a possibility for students.”
Junior and co-founder Suvi Carlile, who is also a leader of the Cradles to Crayons club, said that she is looking into a possible collaboration between the two groups to raise money and resources.
“Cradles to Crayons works a lot with doing drives and donating to kids in need and in underprivileged communities,” Carlile said. “I think we [Biking Down Barriers] could do something with that [Cradles to Crayons] and do drives.”
The co-leaders of the club also realize that the changes they aspire to make throughout the community are not changes that can be made overnight and without any legislative or administrative action from the town or school.
Junior and co-founder Antonia Duffield said that the club is potentially seeking to make changes through the legislature to add biking lanes and more bicycle racks on the school premises.
“I’m in the legislature, so I could do a lot of that [attempting to take legislative action],” Duffield said. “I think talking to different administrative people and encouraging those things [more biking racks and lanes] is really important.”
Junior and co-founder Lloyd Feng said that students around the school should be on the lookout for events from Biking Down Barriers.
“We are planning on doing bake sales and drives for biking accessories like bike locks or lights,” Feng said. “These are pretty expensive accessories, and not everyone has access to them.”
Feng said that the club wants to enlighten people about the positive impacts of biking and encourage people to ride more often.
“We think that informing people about the environmental and physical benefits of biking is important because a lot of people have bikes and just don’t use them,” Feng said. “People don’t realize that as an alternative to walking or driving, biking is also an option for them.”