The Freiker Movement

Most mainstream news outlets have paltry coverage of the Livable Streets movement, and we devote a lot of space on Streetsblog criticizing them, but one local station did a cool story today about a Freiker program at a school in Los Altos. From

Almond Elementary School is going green -- launching a program called "Freiker" which means "frequent biker," it's designed to get kids moving.

"It's exercise, fun," said Dale Simms, 2nd grader Almond Elementary.

"They get active. They use kid-power to get to school in the mornings, instead of an automobile," said Jon Simms, parent, Freiker program organizer.

Parent Jon Simms got Freiker started after learning about this program already operating at almost a dozen schools in three other states. This is the first in California. Frieker began in Colorado in 2004 and has since logged over 150,000 kid-powered miles. So aside from exercise and being environmentally-friendly, what else is getting these kids jumping, even giving the little students a lift?

"I just want to get checked," said Andy Harrison, kindergartner, Almond Elementary.

"The person who has the most points gets a prize," said Ben Parker, 2nd grader, Almond Elementary.

The program rewards kids who cycle the most and there's a "Freikometer" to keep track. From the Freiker website:

The Freikometer is a solar-powered computer that reads an RFID tag taped to riders' helmets. Each day, a Freiker rides past the Freikometer, and a buzzer sounds to indicate the ride has been logged. The Freikometer wirelessly uploads the rider data to this website daily, and the child or parent can log on to our website to see the number of rides accumulated. The Freikometer does the counting, and the prizes provide the motivation.

If you're a regular reader like me, you may have read their post about it a few weeks ago. Let's hope the Freiker movement catches on at more Bay Area schools. Rewarding cyclists by creating incentives to ride sounds like some 'Freikonomics' I can get into.