Monday, May 4, 2009

1,215 Bay students expected to ride bikes to school today


1,215 Bay students are registered to ride their bikes to school today for the start of Bay Bike To School Challenge

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (May 4, 2009) – Organizers of Bay Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle report that 1,215 Bay Village middle and high school students have signed up to ride their bikes to school this morning for the start of the three-week program. Each student who rides today will be rewarded with cleaner air, energized muscles and a free burrito coupon from Chipotle.

Bay Middle School (27725 Wolf Road) has 675 students enrolled in Bike To School Challenge. Administrators at Bay Middle School expect approximately 80% of the school’s student population will travel to school by bicycle this morning, beginning at approximately 6:45 a.m. until the final bell rings at 7:45 a.m. Bay High School (29230 Wolf Road) has 540 students enrolled in Bay Bike To School Challenge.

Back for its second year, Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle is May 4 – 22, 2009, and is organized to help middle and high school students in Bay Village, Ohio, kick the car habit by challenging them to ride their bikes to school during three weeks each spring, to help the environment, get more exercise and improve their health.

Students who register for Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle carry a redemption card that is stamped each day they ride a bike to school. The more days they ride, the more they get – including free t-shirts and bicycle accessories from Century Cycles bicycle store in Rocky River. Chipotle is giving a free burrito to each student who rides the first day. Students also qualify for Bike To School Challenge’s grand prizes – two Raleigh and two Giant bicycles (one each per school, courtesy of Century Cycles, Raleigh Bicycles and Giant Bicycles) and free Chipotle burritos for a year. The program concludes on May 22 with assemblies at each school, to show the students the impact of their efforts, award the permanent home of the Golden Sprocket Award and draw the grand prize winners’ names.

Bay Middle School and Bay High School will also be competing during Bike To School Challenge to see which school has the greatest percentage of bike-riders on the three Wednesdays of the program, with the winner receiving the Golden Sprocket Award. It will be awarded weekly during Bike To School Challenge, on May 6, May 13 and May 20. In order to be eligible for the Golden Sprocket Award, a building principal or assistant principal at each school must have ridden a bicycle to school on the date of the challenge.

Launched in 2008 as “Bay High School Bike To School Month sponsored by Century Cycles,” the program exceeded organizers’ expectations – 543 students (66 percent of the school) registered for the program and on average 224 students per day biked to school during an unusually cold and rainy May, 2008. At its conclusion, Bay High School students rode an estimated 15,566 miles, saved $2,883 in fuel costs, and reduced carbon emissions by 14,350 pounds.

In 1969, approximately half of all students in the U.S. walked or bicycled to school. By 2001, only about 15 percent of U.S. students make the trip to school by walking or bicycling. Today, the habit of driving kids to school is so pervasive that, in some communities, parents driving their children to school represents between 20 and 30 percent of peak-hour morning traffic. (Source: Safe Routes to School: 2007 State of the States Report)

Two recent studies have found that biking or walking to school is associated with higher overall physical activity throughout the day. There are many potential benefits of physical activity for youth, including weight control, reduction in the risk of diabetes, and better academic performance.

A recent report concludes that changing the habits of just 20 percent of the children living within two miles of school to get them to walk or bicycle to and from school instead of being driven would be the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road each year, preventing the emission of over 350,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 21,500 tons of other pollutants. (Safe Routes to School: Steps to a Greener Future, prepared for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by Safe Routes to School National Partnership)

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Tracey Bradnan, Cartwheel Communications
Cell Phone: 440-781-7690

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