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Press Release: May 30, 2014

PRESS RELEASE

CONTACT:
Scott Cowan, Owner-Century Cycles
440-356-5705 (office), 330-730-9928 (mobile)
scott@centurycycles.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 30, 2014

Northeast Ohio students biked 41,179 miles for
2014 Century Cycles Bike To School Challenge

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – The biggest bike-to-school program in the nation, the Century Cycles Bike To School Challenge (www.centurycycles.com/to/bts) concluded on May 23 with celebrations in Bay Village and Rocky River, and on May 16 in Medina. The program's closing ceremonies recognized the students’ bicycling accomplishments, the inspiration they’re providing in Northeast Ohio and around the world, and the fun they had on two wheels for a few weeks in May.

From May 5 through May 23, over 4,500 students at seven schools in Cleveland’s suburbs took the bicycling challenge. A.I. Root Middle School and Claggett Middle School in Medina held a two-week challenge from May 5 to May 16. Bay Middle School and Rocky River Middle School had a three-week challenge from May 5 to May 23. Bay High School and Westerly Elementary in Bay Village held a one-week challenge from May 19 to May 23. Blake Elementary School in Medina organized their own one-week bike to school challenge.

Using daily bike counts and student surveys to gauge participation, organizers report that the students:

  • Biked 41,179 miles – the equivalent of biking around the circumference of the Earth 1½ times;
  • Burned 1,647,160 calories – or 11,765 cans of Coca-Cola;
  • Prevented 33,827 pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from entering the environment;
  • Saved their parents $6,326 on gasoline.

"Bike To School Challenge is a model of what we should be doing across the country," said Chris Speyer, Chief Executive Officer of Accell North America, the parent company of Raleigh Bicycles (www.raleighamerica.com) and a main sponsor of the Bike To School Challenge. "At Raleigh Bicycles, we believe in investing in schools and communities that show a commitment to youth bicycling."

Toward that end, Raleigh Bicycles and Century Cycles awarded 12 Raleigh bicycles to students as prizes.

"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, its local bike shop Century Cycles and the entire community to engage and inspire the students. Raleigh Bicycles is extraordinarily proud to be part of the Bike To School Challenge," said Speyer.

Founded in 2008, Century Cycles’ 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 encouraged with daily prizes and grand prizes to bicycle as much as possible to school during the period of the challenge. 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 don't call it the Bike To School CHALLENGE for nothing," said Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles bicycle stores in Rocky River, Medina, and Peninsula, Ohio, the challenge’s organizer and main sponsor. "Although the rider numbers were down this year compared to last year's record-setting participation, the students proved their meddle even more so this year, turning out in impressive numbers through some of the worst and wettest spring weather that we've ever seen. We are gratified to see how this dedication results in far more bicycling year-round in these communities because of the Bike To School Challenge."

Their efforts are also attracting national and international attention. People for Bikes, a nation-wide cycling advocacy group, recently covered the Bike To School Challenge in their blog (http://bit.ly/1nxfGcs). Bicycling magazine (www.bicycling.com) sent executive editor David Howard to Bay Village to check out last year's 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). In 20013, The Atlantic Cities transportation blog dubbed Bay Village “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 challenge organizers for ideas how to replicate the program there.

For more information about Bike to School Challenge, go to www.centurycycles.com/to/bts or follow the program at www.facebook.com/BikeToSchoolChallenge or on Twitter (@BTSChallenge).