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West Shore Sun: Bike to School Challenge shows students way to healthier lives

April 26, 2012

Kate Gluck

Define your life. Ride a bike. That's the slogan on the t-shirts my kids got each year from the annual Century Cycles/Bay Village Schools Bike to School challenge. The program challenges students to ride their bikes to and from school as much as possible during a three-week period.

At first I wondered about it. How can riding a bike really define your life? The answer I came up with is this: when you make a choice to bike somewhere instead of drive on any sort of routine basis, it is a definitive decision toward healthy living, lifetime fitness and sustainability that can define your life on a broad scale. (I am not claiming that this is what the authors of the slogan intended, but this is how I interpreted it.)

That is why as a Bay Village resident I get so excited each year during the three weeks of the Bike to School challenge when I see the racks upon racks of bicycles lined up outside the middle school -- even on rainy or cold days. It is also why I am excited to help spread the word that the Bike to School challenge is back for the fifth consecutive year in Bay Village and the second in Rocky River.

Both programs will run May 7-25 and will kick off with bicycle fairs in their respective cities. The Bay Village fair will take place 6:30-8 p.m. May 2 at Bay Middle School, 27725 Wolf Road. The Rocky River fair will be 6:30-8 p.m. May 3 at Rocky River Middle School, 1631 Lakeview Road.

Both events are free and open to the public. They will feature free bike safety inspections by professional bicycle mechanics from Century Cycles in Rocky River, free bike licenses, bicycle helmets to the first 20 families who attend (one helmet per family) and a variety of informational booths. In addition, representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the challenge. For more information, visit