Prepare to switch gears this spring. The National Center for Safe Routes to School announced today that it will be coordinating the first-ever National bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.
bike to School Day builds on the popularity and success of International Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – each October, and encourages a bike-focused celebration in the month of May. The National Center, which serves as the information clearinghouse for the federal Safe Routes to School program, is planning the inaugural event in partnership with the League of American Bicyclists, the organization that leads the celebration of National bike Month.
“Communities and schools have been holding spring walk and bicycle to school days for years,” said Lauren Marchetti, director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School. “This inaugural celebration not only provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together to celebrate National bike to School Day but also to build off of the energy of National bike Month.”
“Celebrating bike to School Day will increase the excitement surrounding 2012 National bike Month,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “bike Month – including bike to Work Week and bike to Work Day – has grown year after year and we’re pleased to add a school- and kid-focused event to the celebration this year.”
Save the date and stay tuned! A newly redesigned version of www.walktoschool.org will be unveiled in early April with more information about bike to School Day and new event planning resources and tools, including a new GIS-powered walking and bicycling route mapping tool. A “Win a bike Rack” contest is also being planned to help build excitement and encourage registration of both events and resources for this inaugural event. Bookmark www.walktoschool.org and check back often to learn more.
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. In 2011, students and parents from more than 4,000 U.S. schools joined millions of Walk to School Day and Month participants worldwide. The reasons for walking have grown just as quickly as the event itself. For more information, visit www.walktoschool.org.