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First Ever Bike to School Day May 9

The first national "Bike to School Day" is Wednesday, May 9.

The first national "Bike to School Day" is Wednesday, May 9.

Wednesday, May 9 will mark the first ever “Bike to School Day.” The national event is being coordinated by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, and is an extension of the successful International Walk to School Day held each October.

More than a dozen schools, from throughout the state, have already planned activities for “Bike to School Day.” The event is to promote the benefits of bicycling to school. In 2001, only 16 percent of kids biked or walked to school as opposed to 42 percent in 1969, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biking to school provides physical activity to help maintain good health and a healthy weight. “Biking is one part of many solutions,” commented Ed Barsotti, executive director of the League of Illinois Bicyclists. Numerous studies have also shown that physical activity can help children perform better academically in school as well as have less behavioral issues. An increase in biking to school, as well as walking to school, also decreases motorized traffic congestion in the community.

Although bicycling is a safe activity, all bicyclists should wear helmets and should make sure that they are wearing their helmets correctly. When riding on the street, bicyclists should ride in the same direction as motorized vehicles and obey all traffic laws. If cycling on sidewalks or paths, be courteous to other users and be careful of vehicles pulling out of driveways and intersections who may not be checking for cyclists or pedestrians. For more tips on riding safely, visit our “Safety Education” section of www.bikelib.org.

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