This P.E. Teacher’s Bike Bus Is Everything

11 mil likes. 28K followers. 2.7 million views. These aren’t stats from an NFL player or major recording artist. They belong to P.E. teacher Sam Balto in Portland, Oregon, who created an organized way for students to ride their bikes to school every morning.

What is a bike bus?

Coach Balto’s bike bus originated in 2022—on Earth Day, to be precise. As Balto told People magazine, “It was a way to get my students active, reduce car trips of students being driven to the school, and have fun on bikes.”

Each day, students gather at the meeting spot at the assigned time. Once it’s time to leave, they bike together with parent volunteers and teachers, including Coach Balto. Other riders join the pack along the way. The “bus” has evolved to include music and unofficial cheerleaders in the community. Best of all, Coach Balto’s bike bus has inspired teachers and schools across the country to start their own!

Take a look at the bike bus in action:

We love so many things about Coach Balto’s project. The sense of community, kids starting their day with physical activity and outdoor time, the music … what an inspiration!

FAQs About the Bike Bus

1. How do you cross major streets?

2. What does the bike bus do when it rains?

3. Where do you store the bikes at school?

4. How do you prevent accidents with cars?

Ready to start your own?

In response to Coach Balto’s super-popular TikToks, people have started their own bike buses across the country! Coach Balto has a tab on his TikTok page for starting your own with these helpful videos.

Week 1

In this video, Coach Balto explains how he started a bike bus for his son’s school. He starts with planning, then shows their first practice ride, and finally gives his thoughts on improvement.

Week 2

Coach Balto mentions how he reviews expectations with the increased number of riders. He also mentions the challenge of finding a pace that works for both elementary and middle school riders, as well as the challenge of getting more bike racks.

Week 3

After two weeks of riding the bike route, Coach Balto shows how to get the word out about the bike route, plus the challenges (and joys!) that continue as a new bike bus gets off the ground.

In an age when TikTok trends often revolve around viral pranks or dares, it’s refreshing to see a P.E. teacher pedaling his way to the hearts of his students and the community. Coach Balto’s bike bus initiative isn’t just about exercise—it’s about fostering a sense of community and proving that educators can lead by example in the most unexpected ways. Maybe this will inspire more educators to think outside the classroom and onto the bike path.

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