For Immediate Release
|Cartwheel Communications||March 31, 2008|
Century Cycles and Bay High School Team Up for Bike To School Month on April 28 – May 23, 2008
BAY VILLAGE, March 31 – Riding a bike to school is better for the environment, better for a student’s health, and a lot more fun than paying over $3 for a gallon of gas. It’s also the focus of a new program at Bay High School.
Century Cycles and Bay High School (BHS) are teaming up to encourage hundreds of BHS students to kick the car habit and ride their bikes to school during Bike To School Month on April 28 – May 23, 2008. Co-sponsored by Century Cycles and the Project Earth environmental club at BHS, Bike To School Month educates students on the environmental and health benefits of forgoing motorized transportation, plus it rewards them with prizes for each week they ride their bikes to school.
A kick-off celebration is planned for 7:00 a.m. on Monday, April 28, as the students pedal up to Bay High school on the first day of Bike To School Month.
Inspired by a car boycott organized by BHS students last spring to protest high gas prices, Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan approached his alma mater with the idea for Bike To School Month.
“I saw pictures in the newspaper of the empty school parking lot and hundreds of teenagers on bicycles. I was amazed. If they can do it for one day, why not for a whole month?” says Cowan, who has Century Cycles locations in Rocky River, Medina, and Peninsula. He graduated from Bay High School in 1978.
“The simple act of riding a bicycle can make a dramatic difference in a person’s life, which I see all the time in my stores. Whether it’s reducing carbon emissions or losing weight or gaining freedom, a bicycle can make it happen,” says Cowan. “I also remember the joy of riding a bike to school when I was a kid. Unfortunately, it’s a joy that many students don’t seem to experience anymore.”
Cowan is right. According to a 2003 EPA study, less than 16% of students between the ages of 5 and 15 walked or biked to or from school, compared with 48% of students in 1969.
Cowan’s idea found an enthusiastic supporter in Eryn Whistler, a science teacher at BHS and adviser to the Project Earth environmental club, which will be administering the program at the school on a day-to-day basis, checking in the bicyclists and helping them redeem their prizes.
"Bike To School Month is a great opportunity for the students to have a noticeable impact on their lives and their community. They are inspired and are, in turn, inspiring others,” says Whistler.
“I’m excited to see people ditch their cars and roll into the school parking lot on bikes,” says Gretchen Nye, an eleventh-grader at Bay High School and president of Project Earth. “Our club wants to promote a healthier lifestyle for ourselves and the planet.”
Nye points out that Bay Village and the surrounding cities are bike-friendly. “It’s easy to get places. My friends and I ride bikes to the beach, the parks, or wherever,” says Nye.
Cowan will be making a presentation to the entire BHS student body during the school’s Wellness Day on April 9. It’s a brief talk on the health benefits of bicycling and how to bicycle regularly that he has given to other schools, corporations, and community groups. Registration for Bike To School Month will begin during Earth Day week, starting on April 21.
Students who register for Bike To School Month receive a Bike To School packet that includes tips on riding safely, Cuyahoga county bike map from NOACA, an “Ohio Bicycling Street Smarts” booklet, coupons for bicycle accessories from Century Cycles, and stickers and other freebies from bicycle manufacturers. The city of Bay Village Police Department will also be offering free bicycle registration to students.
As if a healthier body and a cleaner community weren’t incentive enough, Century Cycles has donated hundreds of weekly ride prizes to boost excitement and participation. If a student rides his bike to school for five days, he gets a free Bike To School Month t-shirt that features an award-winning design by BHS student Brian Valco (a $10 value). Ride another school-week and the prize is a Knog Frog bike light (a $10 value). Ride a third school-week and the prize is a bicycle computer/speedometer (a $20 value). If a student rides all the previous weeks plus the fourth school-week, he or she will receive a Century Cycles urban backpack (a $35 value).
Upon redemption of their weekly prizes, students are entered into the grand prize drawing for free Raleigh and Giant bicycles. Those and other prizes will be awarded at a school-wide morning assembly on Bike To School Month’s last day on May 23.
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BICYCLING FACTS AND FIGURES
A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. (Source: League of American Bicyclists)
In metropolitan areas, more than 40% of car trips made for social or recreational purposes (like shopping) are two miles or less – a very manageable bike ride – and more than 25% are just one mile or less. (Source: 2001 U.S. National Household Travel Survey)
Two recent studies have found that biking or walking to school is associated with higher overall physical activity throughout the day. There are many potential benefits of physical activity for youth, including weight control, reduction in the risk of diabetes, and better academic performance.
Studies show that on average, regular cyclists add over two years to their life expectancy, have the general fitness and health of someone 10 years younger, and are 50% less likely to experience depression. Biking at a moderate pace of about 10 miles per hour burns on average 400 calories per hour for women and 450 per hour for men – about the same as an aerobic session. (Source: “Bike To Work” by Rory McMullan, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008)
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ABOUT CENTURY CYCLES: Recently named a Top 100 Bicycle Retailer in the U.S. for the seventh time, Century Cycles has hometown bicycle stores in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River, providing high-quality bicycles and exemplary service to cyclists and their families for the past 16 years. Century Cycles is active locally and nationally in support of the benefits of bicycling, bicycling paths, and other issues of vital importance to the cycling community.
1079 North Court Street, Medina, Ohio, 44256; 330-722-7119
1621 Main Street, Peninsula, Ohio, 44264; 330-657-2209
19955 Detroit Road, Rocky River, Ohio, 44116; 440-356-5705
Scott Cowan, Owner
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ABOUT BAY HIGH SCHOOL : Bay High School is an award-winning, comprehensive, four-year high school in Bay Village, Ohio. It was recently named one of the Top 500 high schools in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report magazine.
ABOUT PROJECT EARTH ENVIRONMENTAL CLUB: Project Earth is committed to learning about their environment and how they can improve it at school, at home, and in the community. They hope that by educating themselves, they can educate others on how to preserve earth’s resources for a better future.
29230 Wolf Road
Bay Village, Ohio 44140
Eryn Whistler, Teacher/Adviser
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