The award-winning program concluded with school-wide assemblies at both Bay Middle School (BMS) and Bay High School (BHS), at which local officials and sponsors helped the school administrators celebrate the program’s success with students and award the grand prizes of free bicycles and other prizes.
Bay Village Mayor Deborah Sutherland praised the students and told them that Bay Bike to School Challenge has inspired her to bicycle more to work at City Hall. She said the entire city was proud of their commitment and she encouraged them to keep bicycling all summer long.
The inspiration wasn’t confined to Northeast Ohio, however. A school in Edmond, Oklahoma had their very first Bike To School day on Friday, May 21, after being inspired by Bay Village’s efforts.
From May 3 to May 21, Bay Bike to School Challenge racked up some big numbers:
• 28,052 miles: Total number of miles bicycled by Bay Village students (calculated by daily bike counts at BMS and BHS and the average daily commute based on student surveys). The earth’s circumference is 24,901 miles, so Bay students logged enough miles to more than circle the globe.
• 28,641 pounds: Total number of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions estimated to be saved.
• 1,242 students: Total number of BMS and BHS students who registered for the challenge, out of a total population of 1,642 students).
• 481 students: The average number of Bay Middle School students who biked to school each day, or 58% of the school. The highest number of bicyclists was on May 5, when 600 students biked to BMS (a whopping 72% of the school) and approximately 240 BMS students biked every single day of the challenge. Prior to the challenge, 74% of BMS students used a car or school bus to get to school, according to student surveys.
• 178 students: The average number of Bay High School students who biked to school each day, or 22% of the school. The top bicycling day at BHS was May 3, when 290 students biked to school. Approximately 40 BHS students biked every single day of the challenge. According to student surveys, only 6.5% of BHS students regularly bicycled to school before the challenge.
• $3,857: The estimated fuel savings by Bay students by bicycling to school for three weeks (based on total mileage and an average gasoline cost of $2.75 per gallon).
• 80,052 miles: Total number of miles bicycled by Bay students during all three years of Bay Bike to School Challenge, 2008 – 2010.
• 82,352 pounds: Total number of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions estimated to be saved during all three years of Bay Bike to School Challenge, 2008 – 2010.
Those numbers are in stark contrast to national averages. According to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, only about 15% of U.S. children bike or walk to school today, versus approximately 50% in 1969. As much as 30% of morning traffic is generated by parents driving their children to school, one-third of schools are in “air pollution danger zones” and more than 33% of U.S. children are now overweight and obese or at risk of becoming so.
On May 21, school administrators were also striving to reach “1000 Bikes in Bay” to give the challenge one last boost. They almost met their goal: The bike count for the day was 930 bicycles – 285 at Bay High School, 514 at Bay Middle School, 125 at Westerly, three at Normandy, two at the school board office and one bicycle at Glenview. Organizer Jason Martin, Assistant Principal at BHS, deemed it a success and said, “This was definitely the most bicycles we’ve ever had at Bay schools on one day.”
At Bay High School, the grand prize winners of Raleigh and Giant bicycles from Century Cycles were Luke Reid, Nick Snyder, Abe Zbornik and Nathan McDonald. At Bay Middle School, the bicycle winners were Nick Portonova, Ron Gilman, Matthew Thomas and Dominic Passalacqua. The winners of free burritos for a year from Chipotle were Laurence Gaide at Bay High School and Hayley Langer at Bay Middle School. In addition, over 60 more students won grand prizes from Century Cycles, Earth Day Coalition, Main Street Cupcakes, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park, Project Earth Environmental Club, Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation, Vanitylab Salon, Bay Lanes and more.
A special drawing for a Cedar Point season pass was held for the students who bicycled all 15 school days of the challenge. That drawing was won by Hillary Stradtman at BHS and Hunter Dunlop at BMS. Also honored were Camille Eckel and Kathryn Tokar at Bay High School, who won the t-shirt design contest and had their artwork featured on the event’s t-shirt.
++ For complete information about Bay Bike To School Challenge, go to: www.centurycycles.com/to/bts
++ Click here to read a Bicycling Magazine article about other school programs around the country, including Bay Bike To School Challenge.