FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 29, 2013
Medina students biked 14,752 miles during record
2013 Medina Bike to School Challenge
Program concluded May 29 with praise from mayor, awards and
prizes for students, schools and city
MEDINA, Ohio – Medina Bike To School Challenge concluded at A.I. Root and Claggett Middle Schools on Tuesday, May 29, with school-wide celebrations of the students’ bicycling accomplishments by Medina’s mayor, school administrators and program organizers and sponsors.
Medina middle school students logged 14,752 miles on their bikes during the three-week program on May 6-24, up 12% over last year’s inaugural challenge. It was an effort that had a significant impact on the students, their community and the environment. In 15 days of bicycling, they:
- Biked 14,752 miles – or like biking from Medina to Sydney, Australia;
- Took 3,222 bike rides to school;
- Burned 250,784 calories – or 1,791 cans of Coke;
- Saved their parents $2,590.64 on gasoline;
- And prevented 16,227 pound of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions.
It was a record-setting year of bicycling for the schools. Claggett Middle School averaged 79 bicyclists per day during the challenge (8% of the school’s enrollment), up 22% over last year’s challenge. They also set a new high-ride day on May 8 and again on May 17, when 94 students biked to school.
Root Middle School averaged 136 bicyclists per day (16% of the school), up 6% over last year and a new record for the school.
“I’m very pleased to see all the bikes parked at the schools. It is my honor to congratulate you,” said Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell in his address to the school-wide assemblies at both schools. “This program is very important for your health and well-being. I encourage students to keep bicycling.”
During the challenge, students carry cards that are stamped for every ride to school and can be entered in the grand prize drawing that concludes the challenge. Main sponsors Century Cycles bicycle store in Medina (www.centurycycles.com) and bicycle manufacturer Raleigh Bicycles (www.raleighamerica.com) teamed up to give away six Raleigh bicycles as grand prizes – four in the random grand prize drawing and two for the winners of the Bike to School Challenge Prose and Photography Contest.
Winners of the Raleigh bicycles at Claggett Middle School were Jacob Johnson and Ryan Oleksiak, both 7th graders. Winners at Root Middle School were 6th grader Alex Weissberg and 8th grader Brennamae Holladay. The photography winner of the contest was Rachel Tuffy and the prose winner was Lexi Acierto – both 6th graders at Root who won both the Raleigh bicycles and the chance to have their work published in the July issue of Great Lakes Courier (www.greatlakescourier.com).
In recognition of their commitment to youth bicycling, Raleigh Bicycles gave the City of Medina $1,000 and Claggett and Root Middle Schools $500 each to use for bicycling improvements.
“Bike To School Challenge is unique and is the best of its kind in the nation,” said Sean Burkey, Midwest Manager of Raleigh Bicycles. “We work with over 1,400 bike stores around the country and have never seen a bike-to-school program that generates the level of participation and excitement that this one does.”
The Medina Bike To School Challenge t-shirt design contest was won by Root Middle School student Devon Unwin. He won a prize package from Century Cycles, and his winning design is featured on the front of the shirt given by the bike store to every student who biked to school four days or more during the challenge.
Besides Century Cycles and Raleigh Bicycles, other sponsors that contributed prizes and support to make Medina Bike To School Challenge possible were Subway of Medina (986 North Court Street), Domino’s Pizza, Dairy Queen, Bike Cleveland, People For Bikes, Rinky Dink, Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park and Quaker Steak & Lube.
Century Cycles Bike to School Challenge is attracting national attention for Medina and Northeast Ohio. Bicycling magazine (www.bicycling.com) sent executive editor David Howard to Ohio to check out Bike to School Challenge, and he wrote an online feature story titled, “The Land Where Kids Ride: In suburban Cleveland, an astonishing number of children ride to school. Here’s what we can learn from them” (http://bit.ly/ZUztVW). The Atlantic Cities transportation blog dubbed this area “a bike-to-school mecca” in an online story (http://bit.ly/12m9qFD), which was read by the principal of a school in Australia that contacted Bike to School Challenge organizers for ideas on how to replicate the program there.
Bike to School Challenge is the largest bike-to-school program in the nation, motivating over 4,000 students in Bay Village, Rocky River and Medina to bike to school as much as possible for three weeks each May to improve their health, help the environment and have fun. The award-winning program is organized by Century Cycles bicycle store in conjunction with the schools. In 2013, students biked 57,627 miles and took 17,573 bicycle rides to school. Students in the program have biked 221,797 miles to school since Bike to School Challenge was founded in 2008.
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 on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BikeToSchoolChallenge) or on Twitter (@BTSChallenge).