One student describes it as "a parade every Wednesday." And that's pretty much what it looks like as more than 100 students ride the bike bus to Alameda Elementary School each week.

Led by Sam Balto, the Portland school's physical education teacher, the bike bus meets 1.5 miles from the school and picks up kids along the way, mostly on bikes, but occasionally on rollerblades, as they blast music and make their way to school.

But behind the party-like atmosphere of the bike bus lies real benefits for students.

Here, Balto discusses those benefits, and talks through the five components schools and districts need to create a bike bus of their own.