The City of Fort Collins, Poudre School District and local K-12 students will celebrate the third annual National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 7. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the nation to join together to celebrate active transportation and the benefits to children’s health, academic achievement and the environment. In addition, many local schools encourage students to bike to school that day with activities such as bike parades, bike trains, bike rodeos and bike festivals.

“National Bike to School Day is an exciting opportunity for families to give biking a try,” says Nancy Nichols, Safe Routes to School coordinator for the City. “It’s a chance to explore a sustainable form of transportation that children naturally love to do and that has many benefits associated with it, as long as it is done safely.”

Factors contributing to children’s safety include wearing a properly fitting helmet, biking with a group rather than alone, and choosing a safe route that employs multi-use paths and, if necessary, streets with slower speeds and lower traffic volumes.

Several local schools will provide activities and incentives for students who pedal to school on National Bike to School Day. PSD schools scheduled to participate include: Fort Collins High School, Rocky Mountain High School (RMHS), Blevins Middle School, Lesher Middle School, Bauder Elementary, Beattie Elementary, Bennett Elementary, Dunn Elementary, Kruse Elementary, Laurel Elementary, Lopez Elementary, Mountain Sage Elementary, O’Dea Elementary, Olander Elementary, Riffenburgh Elementary, Werner Elementary and Zach Elementary. Blevins, Lesher and RMHS are among local schools planning to celebrate the entire week with bicycling activities. Two major highlights among all schools’ activities will be Lesher Middle School’s “Tour de Fit” and Werner Elementary’s “Tour de Cat” on Friday, May 9.

“Last year about 35 percent of our students rode or walked to school. We met about three-fourths of a mile from school and rode together in a bike parade that was four blocks long,” said Michelle Mueller, physical education teacher at Beattie Elementary. “The students are encouraged to walk or ride every Wednesday, but we get the most riders on National Bike to School Day.”

This bicycling encouragement campaign supports the City’s goals of getting at least 50% of local schoolchildren walking or biking to school regularly and teaching K-12 students how to safely bike or walk to school. For more information on the City of Fort Collins’ efforts on safe travel and the Safe Routes to School program, visit www.fcgov.com/saferoutes.

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