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BRAIN: Ohio retailer gets kids on bikes with challenge

July 1, 2012

ROCKY RIVER, OH - More than 4,000 students at five schools in Northeast Ohio participated in the 2012 Bike to School Challenge. Organizers said the students took 15,868 round-trip rides to school during the three-week program, logging 52,084 miles on their bikes. "I have never seen a bike-to-school program generate the level of participation and excitement that this one did," said Chris Speyer, executive vice president of Raleigh Bicycles, one of the sponsors. Speyer traveled to Northeast Ohio to attend the challenge's closing ceremonies at each school. Local retailer Century Cycles is the main organizer and sponsor. This year, the store's staff worked more than 100 hours to organize and implement the challenge. "The bulk of the advance preparation--designing and ordering student ride cards, ordering T-shirts, creating signage, sponsor relations, school assembly planning and other day-to-day coordination--is done by Century Cycles to make the program as turnkey as possible for the schools and to help the teachers focus on the on-site implementation of the program," said Tracey Bradnan, Century Cycles' marketing and events manager. Century Cycles founded the Bike to School Challenge. In 2007, owner Scott Cowan approached his alma mater, Bay High School, about doing a bike-to-school program after reading about a car boycott at the school. In May 2008, the first Bike to School Challenge took place at BHS.