Press Release: March 25, 2009

Contact: Tracey Bradnan
Cartwheel Communications
Office: 440-835-3038
Cell: 440-781-7690
tracey@cartwheelcleveland.com
For Immediate Release
March 25, 2009

Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle begins on May 4

Program seeks to inspire over 1,600 students to ride their bikes to school; includes city-wide Bay Village Bicycle Safety Fair on April 30

Event: 2009 Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle

Dates: Monday, May 4 – Friday, May 22, 2009

Location: Bay High School and Bay Middle School in Bay Village, Ohio

The mission:

Back for its second year, Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle helps students in Bay Village kick the car habit by challenging them to ride their bikes to school during three weeks each spring, to improve their health, get more exercise and help the environment. It is expanded in 2009 to include Bay Middle School as well as Bay High School - a combined population of over 1,600 students. With a lot of fun and a little friendly competition between the schools, Bike To School Challenge shows students (and the community as a whole) that "going by bike" is a great way to go.

The program:

Students who register for Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle carry a redemption card that is stamped each day they ride a bike to school. The more days they ride, the more they get - including free t-shirts and bicycle accessories from Century Cycles bicycle store in Rocky River and free burritos from Chipotle. They also qualify for Bike To School Challenge's grand prizes - two Raleigh and two Giant bicycles (one each per school, courtesy of Century Cycles, Raleigh Bicycles and Giant Bicycles) and free Chipotle burritos for a year. The program concludes on May 22 with assemblies at each school, to show the students the impact of their efforts, award the permanent home of the Golden Sprocket Award and draw the grand prize winners' names.

Important Dates:

April 30: Bay Village Bicycle Safety Fair at Bay Middle School, 6:30 - 8:30pm (see more details below)

April 27 - May 1: Student registration during lunch periods.

May 4: First day of Bike To School Challenge; "Free Burrito Day" - each student who registers for Bike To School Challenge and rides the first day receives a free burrito from Chipotle.

May 6, 13, 20: Golden Sprocket Days (see more details below).

May 22: Last day of Bike To School Challenge. Activities include a pancake breakfast for students prepared by faculty and administrators, school-wide assemblies and Chipotle burrito parties at each school for the students who rode every day of the program.

Bay Village Bicycle Safety Fair

April 30, 2009, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Bay Middle School Gymnasium

Bike To School Challenge invites students, their families and all citizens of Bay Village to a special event to help get them and their bicycles ready to do more riding, whether to school, errands or work. The free event is open to all Bay Village residents. It includes:

  • Century Cycles mechanics will provide free bicycle safety inspections, along with advice on proper helmet fit and displays of bicycle commuting accessories.
  • Bike To School Challenge organizers will register students and answer questions about the program.
  • Project Earth Environmental Club will educate attendees on the environmental benefits of riding a bike, while the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation will educate them on the physical benefits. Both groups will sell t-shirts.
  • The city of Bay Village's police department and their bike officers will be available to citizens with bike licenses and information.
  • The first 40 people to receive a bicycle safety inspection will receive a free bicycle helmet from Century Cycles, a $45 value.

Golden Sprocket Award

The Golden Sprocket Award is the brainchild of BHS Assistant Principal Jason Martin and BMS Principal Sean McAndrews (and the trophy itself is the creation of the mechanics at Century Cycles). Bay Middle School and Bay High School will be competing during Bike To School Challenge to see which school has the greatest percentage of bike-riders on the three Wednesdays of the program, with the winner receiving the Golden Sprocket Award. It will be awarded weekly during Bike To School Challenge, on May 6, May 13 and May 20. The award will be displayed in the main office of the winning school building for as long as the school holds the title. On Friday, May 22, the Golden Sprocket will be awarded to the school with the greatest average percentage from the three dates, which will then be the permanent home of the award until the 2010 Bike To School Challenge. Criteria include:

  • The school with the greatest percentage of bike-riders will be awarded the Golden Sprocket Award for that week.
  • Faculty and staff riders will be counted and totaled into the number of bicycles used in calculating the percentage.
  • In order to be eligible for the Golden Sprocket Award, a building principal or assistant principal at each school must have ridden a bicycle to school on the date of the challenge.

Other incentives to go by bike

In addition to the Golden Sprocket Award and the prizes provided by Century Cycles and Chipotle, the program is receiving support from the community to encourage students to ride their bikes to school:

  • The Parent Teacher Student Association at Bay Middle School and the Parent Teacher Association at Bay High School will provide free water bottles to the students as a prize.
  • Friday, May 15, is Free Caribou Drink Day. Every student who rides that day receives a free drink voucher from Caribou Coffee.
  • On Tuesday, May 19, Mitchell's Ice Cream will give free ice cream cones to 20 lucky students, randomly drawn from those who ride that day.
  • On Friday, May 8, Studio VANITYLAB will give free haircuts to 25 Bay High School students, randomly drawn from those who ride that day.

Why a short bicycle ride can make a big difference

  • In 1969, approximately half of all students in the U.S. walked or bicycled to school. By 2001, only about 15 percent of U.S. students make the trip to school by walking or bicycling. Today, the habit of driving kids to school is so pervasive that, in some communities, parents driving their children to school represents between 20 and 30 percent of peak-hour morning traffic. (Source: Safe Routes to School: 2007 State of the States Report)
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • A recent report concludes that changing the habits of just 20 percent of the children living within two miles of school to get them to walk or bicycle to and from school instead of being driven would be the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road each year, preventing the emission of over 350,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 21,500 tons of other pollutants. (Safe Routes to School: Steps to a Greener Future, prepared for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by Safe Routes to School National Partnership)
  • 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)

Success in 2008:

Launched in 2008 as "Bay High School Bike To School Month sponsored by Century Cycles," the program was inspired by a student car boycott in 2007, when Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan approached his alma mater about encouraging more bike-riding to school. It was enthusiastically embraced by the students and faculty. Participation exceeded organizers' expectations - 543 students (66 percent of the school) registered for the program and on average 224 students per day biked to school during an unusually cold and rainy May. At its conclusion, Bay High School students rode an estimated 15,566 miles, saved $2,883 in fuel costs, and reduced carbon emissions by 14,350 pounds. Students said they rode their bikes more even after the program ended and the BHS faculty organized their own team for the MS 150, an annual 150-mile bicycle ride.

Event Organizers

ABOUT BAY SCHOOLS: The schools in Bay Village, Ohio, are award-winning and consistently earn the state's highest ratings for student achievement. Bay High School was recently named one of the Top 500 high schools in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report. Newsweek ranked it in the top 5% of high schools in the nation. www.bayvillageschools.com

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. Project Earth volunteers helps organize and coordinate the day-to-day administration of Bike To School Challenge with their faculty adviser, Ms. Eryn Whistler.

Eryn Whistler
Teacher, Bay High School
Adviser, Project Earth Environmental Club
Phone: 440-617-7518
ewhist@leeca.org

Lawrence Kuh
Teacher, Bay Middle School
Executive Director, Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation
Phone: 440-617-7668
lkuh@leeca.org

ABOUT CENTURY CYCLES: Century Cycles is an award-winning chain of independent bicycle stores in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River, providing high-quality bicycles and friendly, expert service to northeast Ohio bicyclists and their families. Century Cycles is an authorized dealer of Raleigh, Giant, Diamondback, Electra, Surly, Masi, Bianchi, and Haro bicycles, as well as Santana tandems. The Peninsula store also rents bicycles year-round for use on the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Define your life. Ride a bike.TM

Website: www.centurycycles.com

Blog: www.blog.centurycycles.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/CenturyCycles

1079 North Court Street, Medina, OH 44256; 330-722-7119

1621 Main Street, Peninsula, OH 44264; 330-657-2209

19955 Detroit Road, Rocky River, OH 44116; 440-356-5705

Scott Cowan, Owner
scott@centurycycles.com

ABOUT CHIPOTLE: Chipotle Mexican Grill offers a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food with Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food not only from using fresh ingredients, but ingredients that are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. Chipotle opened its first restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 800 restaurants. www.chipotle.com