July 31, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
56°F

Bike program helps students burn calories, save environment

Andrew Davis

More than 215 Medina middle school students pedaled a combined 14,723 miles during this month’s Bicycle-to-School Challenge.

The three-week event, designed to promote health, the environment and the enjoyment of riding bicycles, ended Wednesday as students packed the A.I. Root Middle School gymnasium.

Six of the 138 students who biked to A.I. Root Middle School during the 15-day Bike-to-School Challenge are, from left, Dominic Drockton, Leila Bachir, Katherine King, Maria Schweppe, Mackenzie Knox and Maddie King. There were so many cyclists that students had to use the fence on the tennis court, rear, to lock up their bikes. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

Overall, students at A.I. Root and Claggett middle schools burned 250,784 calories, saved $2,590.64 on gas and prevented 16,227 pounds of heat-trapping carbon-dioxide emissions — all while having fun on their bikes.

Bicycle-to-School Challenge, which is in its second year, was sponsored by Century Cycles and Raleigh Bicycles.

At Wednesday’s closing celebration, Raleigh representative Sean Burkey presented Mayor Dennis Hanwell with a $1,000 certificate that will be used for bicycle-related needs such as road signs.

“I’m very pleased to see all the bikes parked at the schools. It is my honor to congratulate you,” Hanwell told the students. “This program is very important for your health and well-being.

“I encourage students to keep bicycling.”

Burkey presented each middle school with $500 certificates for bike improvements.

Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan provided six bicycles as prizes — two to the winners of an essay and photography contest, and four were raffled off.

The winners of the photography and essay contest were Root sixth-graders Rachel Tuffy and Lexi Acierto. They will have the chance to be published in the July issue of Great Lakes Courier.

Toward the end of the celebration, the gymnasium started to buzz as physical education teacher Melanie Condosta reached her hand into a barrel to pull the names of the two winners of new Raleigh bikes: sixth-grader Alex Weissberg and eighth-grader Brennamae Holladay.

To qualify for the raffle, students had to bicycle to school eight out of the 15 days of the challenge.

Winners of the Raleigh bicycles at Claggett Middle School were Jacob Johnson and Ryan Oleksiak, both seventh-graders.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.