Bike to School Challenge, bicycling a combined 4,624 round-trips to school from Monday, May 9, through Friday, May 13, and filling their Ohio schools' bike racks (and fences- above) to overflowing.
During the first week of the three-week program, Bay Middle School students biked a total of 2,530 round-trips to school, averaging 506 bicyclists to school per day (62% of the school). The highest ride day of the week was Wednesday, May 11, when 575 students (70%) biked to school.
Rocky River Middle School students biked a total of 1,317 total round-trips, averaging 263 bicyclists to school per day (42% of the school). The highest ride day of the week was Friday, May 13, when 311 students (50%) biked to school.
Bay High School students biked a total of 777 trips, averaging 155 bicyclists to school per day (19% of the school). The highest ride day of the week was Wednesday, May 11, when 199 students (25%) biked to school.
These high bicycling numbers are in contrast to national averages. Studies show only about 15% of U.S. children bike or walk to school today, versus approximately 50% in 1969. As a result, as much as 20 to 30% of morning traffic is generated by parents driving their children to schools and one-third of schools are in “air pollution danger zones.” More than 33% of U.S. children are now overweight or obese or at risk of becoming so, with many now suffering from diabetes and other weight-related illnesses.
Bike to School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles, Raleigh Bicycles and Chipotle is a three-week program that runs through May 27 in which students at the three Northeast Ohio schools commit to ride their bicycles to school to help the environment, improve their health and beat high gas prices – plus win great prizes and have fun.
This is the first year Rocky River Middle School students have taken the challenge. Now in its fourth year in Bay Village, the award-winning program has had a big impact upon the lakeside community. In the challenge’s past three years, Bay Village students have biked 80,052 miles and saved an estimated 82,352 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Last year, Bay students also saved $3,857 in fuel costs in just three weeks (when gas cost $2.75 per gallon).
National bicycle manufacturer Raleigh Bicycles has joined Century Cycles, Chipotle, Honey Hut, and Bay Lanes as corporate sponsors of Bike to School Challenge. In Bay Village, the Bay Village Kiwanis, Bay Schools Parent Teacher Student Association, Project Earth Environmental Club and the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation are also sponsors. In Rocky River, Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Rocky River PTA are also sponsors.
For regular updates about Rocky River Bike to School Challenge and Bay Bike to School Challenge, visit www.centurycycles.com/to/bts.
(Photo: Doug Charnock)