FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 26, 2012
Photos available upon request.
Bay students biked 26,673 miles during 2012 Bike To
School Challenge; 59% of Bay Middle School biked for
Program concluded May 25 with awards and prizes for students,
BAY VILLAGE, Ohio – Bay Bike To School Challenge concluded at Bay Middle and High Schools yesterday with a celebration of the students’ bicycling accomplishments. Both schools logged a combined 26,673 miles on their bikes during the three-week program that began on May 7, and on average 59% of Bay Middle School biked each day. It was an effort that had a significant impact on the students, their community and the environment -- burning hundreds of thousands of calories, preventing a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions and saving their parents a lot of gas money.
Their bicycling also won prizes for the students, their teachers, the participating schools and even the city. Main sponsors Century Cycles bicycle store in Rocky River and bicycle manufacturer Raleigh Bicycles teamed up to give away two grand prize bicycles per school. Winners of the Raleigh bicycles at Bay High School were Cullen Brewer and Claire Mercer, both freshmen. At Bay Middle School, sixth-grader Ellen Brabant and fifth-grader Kate Baeppler won Raleigh bicycles.
In addition, Raleigh Bicycles awarded $1,000 Bike To School Challenge scholarships to Bay High School seniors Gideon Lorete and Jamie Kerka. The company gave each school a $500 award for exceeding its bicycling goals during the challenge, to use for fitness and bicycling programs, and committed $750 to the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation and Bay Village Green Team for the “Share The Road” signs throughout the city.
Raleigh Bicycles also honored teachers Eryn Sutterlin at Bay High School and Lawrence Kuh at Bay Middle School for their ongoing commitment to youth bicycling and their leadership of the Bike To School Challenge program in Bay Village. Both educators were presented with new Raleigh road bikes in recognition of their hard work and tireless enthusiasm since the program was founded in 2008. “Bike To School Challenge is unique and is the best of its kind in the nation,” said Chris Speyer, Executive Vice President of Raleigh Bicycles, who travelled to Bay Village from the company’s headquarters near Seattle, Washington, to personally present the awards. “We work with over 1,400 bike stores around the country. I have never seen a bike-to-school program that generates the level of participation and excitement that this one does. It is a credit to the tremendous amount of commitment and work by the schools, your local bike shop Century Cycles and the entire community to engage and inspire the students. Raleigh Bicycles is extraordinarily proud to be part of Bike To School Challenge and will be back next year as a sponsor.”
Speyer also noted that bike stores in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, California and Minnesota are inspired Bay Village’s program and are eager to use it as a template for their own bike-to-school efforts.
Based on daily bike counts and student surveys, program organizers report that an average of 474 Bay Middle School students biked each day of the challenge, a whopping 59% of the school’s enrollment of 793 students. Bay Middle School’s highest ride day during the challenge was May 18, when 611 students (77% of the school) bicycled. At Bay High School, an average of 135 students per day biked, or 16% of the school. National surveys show that only about 10% of children bike or walk to school, down dramatically since the 1960s.
Bay students saved an estimated 29,340 pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from the environment by bicycling to school during the challenge’s three weeks. They also saved their parents $4,466 on gasoline, based on the current Ohio average gas price of $3.75/gallon.
Since Bay Bike To School Challenge began in 2008, Bay students have biked 129,476 miles and saved an estimated 142,423 pounds of CO2 emissions. This was the fifth year for Bay Bike To School Challenge.
Calculating that a 100-pound person burns about 17 calories per mile during moderate bicycling, Bay students also burned 453,441 calories just bicycling to and from school. (The average round-trip commute is 2.78 miles for Bay Middle School students and 3.4 miles for Bay High School students.) Studies show that physically active students do better academically and everyday exercise helps combat rampant childhood obesity.
The Bay Bike To School Challenge t-shirt design contest was won by Elyse Sopa, a junior at Bay High School. She won a prize package from Century Cycles and Project Earth Environmental Club, and her winning design is featured on the front of the shirt given by Century Cycles to every student who biked to school four days during the challenge.
Other sponsors who contributed prizes and support to make the program possible were Honey Hut Ice Cream, Subway of Bay Village, Bay Village Kiwanis, Bay PTA, Project Earth Environmental Club and the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation. Grand prizes were also donated by Bay Village Recreation Department, SportsTime Ohio, Cleveland Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Earth Day Coalition and Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park.
Bike To School Challenge is an award-winning, three-week program that seeks to inspire over 4,000 students in Bay Village, Rocky River and Medina to bike to school as much as possible to improve their health, help the environment and have fun. The program is organized by Century Cycles bicycle store in conjunction with the schools. During it, students carry cards that are stamped for each bike-ride to school and can be redeemed for prizes. For more information about Bike To School Challenge and to see photos and videos, go to www.centurycycles.com/to/BTS or follow the program at www.facebook.com/BikeToSchoolChallenge.