The biggest bike-to-school program in the nation grew even bigger this year. Century Cycles’ Bike to School Challenge concluded on May 24, celebrating the students’ record-setting bicycling accomplishments, the inspiration they’re providing in Northeast Ohio and around the world, and the fun they had on two wheels for three weeks.
From May 6 through May 24, more than 4,000 students at five schools in Cleveland’s suburbs took the three-week bicycling challenge. Using daily bike counts and student surveys to gauge participation, organizers report that the students:
- Biked 57,627 miles – the equivalent of biking around the circumference of the Earth 2.25 times;
- Took 17,573 round-trip bicycle rides to school;
- Averaged 1,172 bicyclists to school per day, or 29 percent of the total enrollment of all five schools;
- Burned 979,659 calories – or 6,997 cans of Coca-Cola;
- Prevented 63,398 pounds of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from entering the environment;
- Saved their parents $10,125.68 on gasoline, based on the current Ohio average gas price of $3.76/gallon and an average vehicle fuel economy of 21.4 MPG.
Participation overall was up 11 percent over 2012, making Bike to School Challenge’s sixth year its best year ever.
Bike to School Challenge students have biked 221,797 miles to school since the program began in 2008.
Almost every school in the award-winning program experienced a record year this year, but none more so than Bay Middle School, which set all-new high marks in every category tracked:
- 538 students biked each day of the challenge on average, a whopping 66 percent of Bay Middle’s enrollment of 820students and up 13% over last year’s average of 474.
- 27 percent of Bay Middle School Students (226 of them) biked all 15 school days of the challenge – rain or shine (or sub-freezing temperatures).
- 634 students biked on May 8 (77 percent of the school), the highest ride day in the history of the challenge and coincidentally National Bike to School Day.
Toward that end, Raleigh Bicycles and Century Cycles awarded 16 Raleigh bicycles to students as prizes, and Raleigh gave cash awards of $3,000 to the schools and $4,000 to the cities for bicycling improvements.
Founded in 2008, Century Cycles’ Bike to School Challenge communicates to students the impact that bicycling instead of driving can have on their health and the environment, and they are incentivized with daily and grand prizes to bicycle as much as possible to school for three weeks. Students carry cards that are stamped for each bike-ride to school and can be entered into the grand prize drawing that concludes the challenge.