Challenge Month won’t Change Antonia’s Routine.

Antonia on her blue bike with a full pannier (including a violin!)

Riding her bike to school every day rain or shine for the past four years, Antonia MacNaughton just might be the bikiest girl at Lewis Elementary. That’s an increasingly difficult title to maintain now that Lewis has stepped up to May’s Walk and Bike Challenge.

If Lewis students continue to take Antonia’s lead, PSU won’t have a chance, but even after May there are other longer-lasting benefits to walking and biking to school. According to Antonia, she bikes because it’s good for her heath and cuts down on pollution. She also bikes because her dad, Gregory MacNaughton, chooses not to own a car. Antonia doesn’t mind that arrangement a bit. Her 20-30 minute ride to school each morning isn’t just exercise, it’s good time spent with her father.

Due to their commitment to biking, Gregory, Antonia, and her older brother Curtis, have been nominated for Alice awards multiple times. It’s only natural that Gregory, with a good deal of help from Julia Hamlin, is the major force behind the Walk and Bike Challenge at Lewis.

In addition to her work on Challenge Month and the Lewis Learning Gardens, Julia Hamlin also works with parent volunteers on the third Thursday of every month to present Walk and Bike Day, a special morning designed to recognize students who walk or bike to school. Incentives have included t-shirts, Cliff Bars, stickers, pencils, hot chocolate, and even a cool new helmet!

When asked what the city could do to get more people on bikes, Antonia says, “we need more bike lanes and bike paths.” Thanks to the Springwater Corridor, there are some off-street miles to their ride, but Antonia’s favorite part? “I like the way home because I get to go down the big hill on 45th.”

She might like zooming down big hills, but Antonia never leaves home without her helmet. She also explains that a good raincoat and a waterproof bag are essentials for riding to and from school year-round in Portland.

Antonia isn’t sure where she’ll go to middle school, but there’s one thing she knows for sure, “I’ll still ride my bike.”


Comments (6)

  1. Jessica Roberts Permalink  | May 08, 2008 10:18pm

    Antonia is my hero.

    Is that a violin in her bag?

  2. Angela Koch Permalink  | May 09, 2008 01:48pm

    Why, yes that is a violin. And yes, Antonia ROCKS!

  3. Nick Dougher Permalink  | May 10, 2008 10:28pm

    Antonia and Curtis : Great kids on the path! Count on hearing more from these two. And Gregory? not a slouch.

  4. Dan Permalink  | Nov 25, 2013 07:53am

    My daughter used to love biking to the bus stop every day until she started playing violin. What kind of pannier/pack setup is that?

  5. Carl (BTA) Permalink  | Nov 26, 2013 11:16am

    Hi Dan.
    That’s a roll-top Ortlieb rear pannier and the rack looks like a Blackburn. The key to fitting a big pannier like that on a small kids bike is getting it as far back as possible. With small frames, it’s not uncommon for big panniers to clip heels so keep an eye on that. My elementary-through-high school system of carrying stuff: milk crate zip-tied to a Pletscher rack. It’s cheap. It’s easy. It’ll even carry a viola. Here’s hoping your daughter can get back on the bike soon!

  6. Angelle Permalink  | Sep 04, 2015 06:59pm

    How do you have your violin strapped down? My daughter plays and loves riding her bike to school.