I was thinking about that when I was dropping my 6 year old off at some hobbies earlier - it’s pretty much expected to have learned how to ride a bicycle before starting school, and it massively expands the area you can go to by yourself. When she went to school by bicycle she can easily make a detour via a shop to spend some pocket money before coming home, while by foot that’d be rather time consuming.

Quite a lot of friends from outside of Europe either can’t ride a bicycle, or were learning it as adult after moving here, though.

edit: the high number of replies mentioning “swimming” made me realize that I had that filed as a basic skill pretty much everybody has - probably due to swimming lessons being a mandatory part of school education here.


How big distances / population are we talking here?

I was growing up in a small village, so in elementary school we went by bus to a nearby village with 7000 inhabitants and a swimming pool.

Now we’re living in a town with a population of 46000 with its own swimming pool.


Yeah, a small village. It would have been a half-hour bus ride to the town of ~5000, but they couldn’t compel all students to get a passport, and the nearest pool in the US would have been about an hour and a half away, so it was never part of the curriculum. Some kids had their parents drive them to Canada after school for private (expensive?) swimming lessons, but it wasn’t standard.

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