Students and teachers have found that an annual bike to school challenge saves gas, burns calories, and promotes healthy exercise. During the most recent challenge in Bay Village Ohio, the school lawn was covered with colorful chrome and kickstands. Students accumulated 20,124 miles in total during the month long program.
The real numbers proved a huges difference for all when students bike to school. An average of 483 students participated per day, and the highest number was 592 on the ride for one day. The students burned more than 800,000 calories and saved 853 gallons of gasoline, according to sixth grade math teacher and middle school challenge coordinator Lawrence Kuh.
“The Bike to School Challenge emphasizes community involvement and encourages physical activity,” Kuh said, as students gathered at an assembly where prizes, including three new bicycles, were awarded. “It also has a significant positive environmental impact. The amount of gas saved and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions saved are incredible.”
Beyond the obvious benefits, Kuh hopes the students gained a sense of pride.
“I want them to see that they can make a difference,” he said. “Each and every one of them makes a difference in their families and in their community. It continues to make me proud of their commitment to the program. The students have taken ownership in it.”
Bay High School graduate and Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan started the program in 2008 and has watched it grow every year.
“It’s good for the community and for the kids,” Cowan said, adding he biked to school when he was a kid. “It gives something back to the community and has made a huge impact. The students had to ride four days to get a T-shirt. It was actually designed by one of the high school students.”
Wearing a helmet also garnered extra raffle tickets for safety-minded cyclists.