More kids than usual were seen whirring around on bicycles heading to and from school in Provo last week.
The increase was spurred by the Sept. 9–13 Bike to School Week initiative, made official by a declaration from Provo Mayor John Curtis.
“School has just begun, and there’s no better way to get to class than by riding your bike,” said Curtis in the declaration. “I encourage students of all ages to walk or bike safely to school at least three times during Bike to School Week.”
Ten local schools promoted the event and provided incentives to encourage students to participate. At many schools the Provo Police Department registered bicycles, parent volunteers performed bike tune-ups, and students received prizes donated from local bike shops.
Christy Horn, a parent volunteer at Provost Elementary School, enjoyed biking one mile to school with her first-grader every morning and said she saw great benefits from helping other students ride to school.
“Bike to School Week has been awesome,” she said. “We had 58 students participate on Monday, and the number was up to 90 (by Tuesday). I hope this event keeps getting bigger and bigger and that families catch the bug and make it a regular habit.”
Building that habit was a key motivator in the creation of the event. Bike to School Week was started three years ago by the Provo Bike Committee.
“We want people to experience the joy of bike riding,” said Aaron Skabelund, co-founder of the committee. “We are especially interested in helping people to ride bikes on a daily basis to get to school and back and to work and back and to run errands.”
The committee said it hopes Bike to School Week will help students start biking early in their lives.
“It’s so great to see those young kids come up to me with a smile on their face and tell me they biked to school today,” Horn said. “It’s something they probably never knew they could do until they tried.”
In the future, Bike to School Week will likely be combined with Provo Bike to Work Week, also sponsored by the Provo Bicycle Committee. For more information about these and other events, visit bikeprovo.org.