Press Release: May 30, 2012

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Tracey Bradnan, 440-781-7690 or tracey@centurycycles.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 30, 2012
Photos available upon request.

Northeast Ohio students biked 52,084 miles for 2012 Bike
To School Challenge

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – Northeast Ohio children have joined Greater Cleveland’s bicycling boom in a big way, racking up thousands of miles bicycling to school during a local bike-to-school program that is one of the largest and most successful in the nation.

Over 4,000 students at middle schools in Rocky River, Bay Village and Medina were encouraged to take the 2012 Bike To School Challenge on May 7-25, an award-winning program organized and sponsored by local bicycle store Century Cycles. Using daily bike counts and student surveys to gauge participation, Bike To School Challenge reports that the students took 15,868 roundtrip bicycle rides to school during the three-week program, logging 52,084 miles on their bikes.

Bicycling to school can save families money, reduce the amount of pollutants in the air and help fight rampant childhood obesity. This year, Bike To School Challenge students saved Mom and Dad $8,718.75 on 2,325 gallons of gasoline (based on the Ohio average vehicle fuel economy of 22.4 MPG and an average gas price of $3.75/gallon on May 25). They saved an estimated 57,292 pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from being emitted into the environment, and they burned an estimated 885,428 calories (calculating that a 100-pound person burns about 17 calories per mile during moderate bicycling).

“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 and president of the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association, who travelled to Northeast Ohio from the company’s headquarters near Seattle, Washington, to attend the challenge’s closing ceremonies at each school. “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.”

Founded in 2008, Bike To School Challenge communicates to students the impact that bicycling instead of driving can have on their health and the environment, and they are incentivized with daily and grand prizes to bicycle as much as possible to school for three weeks. Students carry cards that are stamped for each bike-ride to school and can be entered into the grand prize drawing that concludes the challenge.

“We organize it for three weeks because we want to establish bicycling as a habit,” said Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles bicycle stores in Rocky River, Medina and Peninsula, Ohio. “We are gratified to see far more bicycling all year-round in these communities because of Bike To School Challenge.”

“Your choice to ride your bike to school has made a significant difference in your health, the health of the environment, and the health of our city,” said Rocky River, Ohio, Mayor Pam Bobst in her address to Rocky River Middle School students. “For that, we thank you, we admire you, and you are inspiring our entire community.”

Bay Village Bike To School Challenge

Bay Middle School and Bay High School logged 26,673 miles on their bikes during the three-week program. 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.

Bay students saved an estimated 29,340 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from the environment, saved their parents $4,466 on gasoline, and burned 453,441 calories 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.)

Now in its fifth year, Bay Bike To School Challenge began in 2008 at Bay High School and in 2009 at Bay Middle School. Bay students have biked a total 129,476 miles and saved an estimated 142,423 pounds of CO2 emissions during the challenge.

Rocky River Bike To School Challenge

An average of 273 Rocky River Middle School students biked each day of the challenge, or 44% of the school’s enrollment of 620 students. This was up significantly from last year’s average of 191 bicyclists per day. Rocky River Middle School’s highest ride day during the challenge was May 11, when 344 students (56% of the school) bicycled. The students biked a total of 12,240 miles, up 32% from last year’s total miles. The average commute to Rocky River Middle School is 3.2 miles.

Rocky River students saved an estimated 13,464 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 $2,047.50 on gasoline, based on the current Ohio average gas price of $3.75/gallon. Calculating that a 100-pound person burns about 17 calories per mile during moderate bicycling, Rocky River students also burned an estimated 208,080 calories just bicycling to and from school.

Rocky River Bike To School Challenge began last year. Rocky River students have biked a total of 21,523 miles and saved an estimated 23,675 pounds of CO2 emissions during the program’s two years.

Medina Bike To School Challenge

This was the first year for Bike To School Challenge in Medina and it was held at the city’s two middle schools, Root and Claggett. During the challenge, students at both schools logged 13,171 miles on their bikes and on average 193 biked each day, or 9.3% of the total enrollment of both schools. This was up from the 1-2% of bike-ridership reported at both schools prior to the start of Medina Bike To School Challenge.

Both schools saved a combined 14,488 pounds carbon dioxide emissions from the environment by bicycling to school during the challenge. They also saved 588 gallons of gasoline (at a price of $2,205 to their parents) and burned an estimated 223,907 calories.

Root Middle School students have a 4.1-mile roundtrip commute to school and biked 7,868 miles during the challenge. The school averaged 128 bicyclists per day, or 15% of the school’s enrollment of 850 students. The students saved 8,655 pounds of CO2 emissions, burned 133,756 calories, and saved their parents $1,316.25 on gasoline.

Claggett Middle School students have a 5.4-mile roundtrip commute to school and biked 5,303 miles during the challenge. The school averaged 65 bicyclists per day, or 7% of the school’s enrollment of 950 students. The students saved 5,833 pounds of CO2 emissions, burned 90,151 calories, and saved $888.75 on gasoline.

Bike To School Challenge communicates to students the impact that bicycling can have on their health and the environment, and they are incentivized to bicycle as much as possible to school for three weeks. Students carry cards that are stamped for each bike-ride to school and can be entered into a grand prize drawing that concludes the challenge. Bike To School Challenge students have biked 164,170 miles since the program was founded in 2008. For more information about Bike To School Challenge, go to www.centurycycles.com/to/BTS or follow the program at www.facebook.com/BikeToSchoolChallenge.