Bike Sharing | Play Sighting 0004
I’ve observed this play many times over the last 18 months with the same group of 6 to 9 year old kids.
Up the street from my house, on a stretch of wide and flat sidewalk, the 5 kids take turns zipping back and forth on two bikes. Sometimes they just ride. Sometimes there’s a plywood-and-cement-block ramp to ride. Other times, they play made-up games–like Bike Tag. In Bike Tag, the bikers try to stay away from the kids who are on foot. The kids who are on foot try to tag the bike riders. If you tag a biker three times, you get to use the bike. Sometimes there are disagreements and bickering. Mostly there’s happy chatter and laughter.
The bikes belong to a brother and sister. They live in a big house with a big yard–lots of space to store bikes.
The other three live across the street in a five story apartment building–no extra space for bikes and if there were, it’d be awkward to haul them up and down.
This play immediately pulls me back to 1978 when the same thing was happening on the street were I grew up.