FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Back to school time is bike to school time
ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (August 18, 2010) - For some children, heading back to school isn't a joyful occasion, what with the end of summer and the onset of homework. But the way they get to school can inject some joy -- bicycling there can add fun, independence and freedom.
Just ask their parents, many of whom have fond memories of riding a bike to school as a kid. Back in 1969, over half of all students biked to school. Today only about 15 percent of students bike or walk to school, according to the Safe Routes to School Partnership.
Other risk factors are also worrisome: 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.
At Century Cycles bicycle stores, which sponsors and helps organize area bike to school programs, the bicycling experts have these tips to make back to school time bike to school time:
Stock up on safety essentials
The #1 item is a properly-fitting helmet, which has been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent. Your local bike shop has a wide assortment of styles and can help with size and straps for the best fit. Also consider a bike lock, a bell (to alert pedestrians a bike is coming their way) and lights or reflective clothing (to improve visibility).
Plan the route to school
The safest place for bicycle riding for older students is on the street, where bicycles must follow the same rules of the road as cars. Review those rules with your children - go with the flow of traffic, obey the traffic laws, be predictable and stay alert. Children less than 10 years old are better off riding on the sidewalk, if your jurisdiction allows it. They should be warned to watch for vehicles in driveways, avoid pedestrians on sidewalks and be especially careful at intersections.
Ride with your kids
If you love bicycling, chances are your kids will, too. Just be sure to model the behavior you're teaching - wear your helmet, obey traffic laws and be respectful to other cyclists and motorists. Along the way, you may also find more joy and feel more fit.
About Century Cycles
Founded in 1992, Century Cycles is an award-winning, locally-owned chain of independent bicycle stores in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River, providing high-quality bicycles and friendly, expert service to northeast Ohio bicyclists and their families. Century Cycles is an authorized dealer of Raleigh, Giant, Diamondback, Electra, Surly, Masi, Bianchi, and Haro bicycles, as well as Santana tandems. The Peninsula store also rents bicycles year-round for use on the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
For eight consecutive years, Century Cycles has been voted one of the top 100 bicycle retailers in the United States by Bicycle Retailer & Industry News magazine. In 2009, Century Cycles was awarded Bike Shop of the Year by the League of American Bicyclists, one of only eight bicycle shops honored in the United States. www.centurycycles.com
Available for interview and bicycle/safety product displays:
Scott Cowan, Owner
Tracey Bradnan, Cartwheel Communications