Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 Bike to School logs 32,034 miles, ends with school-wide celebrations

The students who attend Bay Middle School, Bay High School and Rocky River Middle School didn’t let an unusually rainy May dampen their commitment to bicycling during Bike to School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles, Raleigh Bicycles and Chipotle, which concluded last Friday with school-wide assemblies to celebrate the program’s success. And there was plenty for the 2,240 kids to cheer about -- and for the cities' mayors, schools' administrators and program's organizers to praise.

Students at the three Northeast Ohio schools bicycled a total of 32,034 miles to school from May 9 through May 27 – enough miles to circle the globe and then some – which saved the environment 35,237 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. It also saved Mom and Dad $5,795.92 in gasoline expenditures.

At Rocky River Middle School, the three-week initiative nearly quadrupled the average number of bicyclists to school per day, from 49 to 193. At Bay Middle School, 430 students (53%) biked to school on average each day; 16% of the school – 130 students – bicycled all 15 days of the challenge despite rainy, chilly weather on many of those days. The highest overall ride day was Wednesday, May 11, on which a total of 1,070 students biked to all three schools.

Bay schools marked its fourth Bike to School Challenge by hitting a major milestone – its students have now bicycled a total of 102,803 miles and saved 113,083 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions since the program began in 2008.

“I think this is the best program of its kind in America,” said Chris Speyer, vice president of Raleigh Bicycles, a Seattle-based bicycle manufacturer that is a Bike to School Challenge sponsor. Speyer, who also serves as the president of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, attended the celebrations to present the grand prize bicycles.

Both Bay Village Mayor Deborah Sutherland and Rocky River Mayor Pamela Bobst attended their respective assemblies, praising the students for their bicycling accomplishments and telling them how much they’ve inspired their communities. Mayor Bobst said that the Old Detroit Streetscape project will have new bike racks, and she encouraged the students to bicycle all summer to their destinations. Mayor Sutherland vowed to bike and walk more herself this summer, saying she sees far more citizens riding bicycles in Bay Village since the program began.

For regular updates about Bike to School Challenge, visit www.centurycycles.com/to/bts

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