National Bike to School Day Participation Grows,Thousands Celebrate by Getting Outside on the Trip to School

WASHINGTON (May 5, 2014) – Students and parents across the county will be strapping on their helmets and backpacks and putting their mettle to the pedal as they ride their bikes to school on Wednesday, May 7, in celebration of the third annual National Bike to School Day.

Schools, cities, bicycle groups, public health organizations and parents alike are organizing bike rides and bike trains to school to highlight and celebrate the benefits of choosing student powered transportation to school.

“Every child should have the opportunity to walk, bike or ride the bus to school safely," said U.S. Transportation Acting Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez. "Improving bicycle and pedestrian safety is a top priority for the Department, especially as more and more Americans are choosing these options for getting to work, school and other places. The Obama Administration is proud to support National Bike to School Day and encourages families to practice safe biking habits every day."

As of May 5, 1,828 schools in 47 states and the District of Columbia have registered Bike to School Day events on the official website, www.walkbiketoschool.org. The total number of events is expected to grow as celebrations continue throughout May, which is National Bike Month. More than 1,700 schools across the country participated in last year’s event.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with how many communities and families are coming together to promote biking to school on this one day,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which coordinates National Bike to School Day. “In 2013, participation grew 80 percent from the first event in 2012, and we’re expecting the trend to continue in 2014.We’re thrilled to see support for biking events increase across the country every year!”

On May 7, Acting Deputy Secretary Victor Mendezwill join more than 100 students to celebrate National Bike to School Day in Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Park. The event is being hosted by the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Association, and is being held in an area where District Department of Transportation and the DC Department of General Services are having trouble keeping up with demand for bike racks.

Bike to School Day events are being held nationwide on Wednesday and throughout the month of May. To browse names and locations of registered 2014 events, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org/go/whos-biking/2014.

This year the National Center for Safe Routes to School is partnering with Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads program to give away bicycles and helmets to schools that register a 2014 Bike to School Day event.

“At Schwinn, we are dedicated to bicycle safety,” said Alice Tillett, president of Pacific Cycle, Schwinn’s parent company. “Bike to School Day is a great day to celebrate an active trip to school, and it’s the perfect day to highlight the importance of correctly wearing a helmet each and every day you get on a bike.”

Helmets on Heads is a comprehensive initiative committed to educating one million kids about bike helmet safety over 10 years.  Each year Helmets on Heads engages with educators, local communities, and families by providing information and resources to get involved and take action on helmet safety.

So far, six lucky schools have been awarded bikes and helmets for their students in the Bike to School Day Helmets on Heads Bikeshare Giveaway. Drawings continue through the end of the month and registration for Bike to School Day closes on May 31.

 

About National Bike to School Day
Started in 2012, National Bike to School Day is based on the Walk to School Day model. Walk to School Day was founded in 1997 as a way to bring community leaders and children together to build awareness for communities to be more walkable. The one-day event has now grown to a month-long celebration every October. In 2013, students and parents from more than 4,400 U.S. schools joined millions of Walk to School Day and Month participants worldwide.

For more information on bike and walk to school activities in the United States, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.

About the National Center for Safe Routes to School
Established in May 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School assists states and communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bicycle to school. The National Center serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, the National Center also provides technical support and resources and coordinates online registration efforts for U.S. Walk to School Day and facilitates worldwide promotion and participation.

For more information, visit www.saferoutesinfo.org.

Media Contacts

 

Colleen Vasu

National Center for Safe Routes to School

(919) 962-7769

vasu@hsrc.unc.edu

 

*Caroline Dickson

National Center for Safe Routes to School

(919) 923-1359 mobile*

dickson@hsrc.unc.edu

 

Sofia Whitcombe

Helmets on Heads / Schwinn Inc.

203-313-9388 mobile

sofia.whitcombe@cyclingsportsgroup.com

 

Michael DeLeon

Helmets on Heads / Schwinn Inc.

203-845-8164 office

608-358-9412 mobile

Michael.deleon@cyclingsportsgroup.com

 

* Denotes on-site at Lincoln Park Bike to School Day event, Wednesday, May 7, 7:30-8:30 a.m.