Cleveland, Ohio (May 2, 2014) – May is National Bike Month, which means that thanks to Century Cycles bicycle shops and Raleigh Bicycles, more than 4,000 students from six schools in Northeast Ohio will ride in what has become the nation's largest and longest-standing bike to school event. Continuing the momentum from 2013, the most successful event to date, Century Cycles' Bike to School Challenge returns for a seventh consecutive year from May 5-23.
In 2013, more than 4,000 middle school and high school students participated in the three-week cycling challenge, an 11% participation increase over 2012. This involvement meant that more than 57,627 miles were biked; 975,000 calories were burned (up from 2012 by over 100,000 calories); $10,125 was saved on gasoline; and the cyclists prevented 63,398 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
This year, each rider is eligible to win daily prizes from PeopleForBikes and countless other gifts from Century Cycles bicycle shops and other sponsorships. At the end of the challenge, students are entered to win grand prizes including brand-new bikes from Raleigh Bicycles. Raleigh is donating one bike per week, either a Talus 3 or Retroglide, to each of the six schools. Raleigh will also be hosting a water bottle day with Century Cycles, giving away 700 bottles to participants.
"I have never seen a bike-to-school program that generates the level of participation and excitement that this one does. It is a credit to the tremendous amount of commitment and work by the schools, its local bike shop, Century Cycles, and the entire community to engage and inspire the students. Raleigh Bicycles is extraordinarily proud to be part of Bike to School Challenge," said Chris Speyer, Chief Operating Officer of Accell North America (Raleigh Bicycles).
The Bike to School Challenge is more than students riding to school and winning prizes for their participation. It's about promoting health, connecting community, building leadership skills, growing friendships, and helping preserve the environment. For the six schools that participate in the event (three schools from Bay Village, two from Medina, and one from Rocky River), the most important aspect of the challenge is to have a positive impact on the students' lives.
According to PeopleForBikes, research suggests that children who cycle to school have greater cardio respiratory fitness than those who travel to school by car, bus, or foot. Additional studies show that children who begin biking or walking to school at an early age are more likely to stay a healthy weight during their early school years.
Since the program's inauguration, students have pedaled more than 221,000 miles. After 2013's Bike to School Challenge, biking to school became a habit for students and overall ridership for the remainder of the school year and throughout the summer increased.