Iowa kids will be two-wheeling to school today (Wednesday)

News

May 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Today (Wednesday) is National Bike to School Day, as kids across Iowa and nationwide skip the carpool or the bus and use pedal power. Angela Berry, one of the day’s Midwest coordinators, says it’s a celebration for students and it builds on the popularity of the International Walk to School Day, held in October. Berry says, “Bike to School Day seeks to raise awareness about the need for safe routes to bike and walk and emphasize the importance of such issues as increasing physical activity among children, reducing traffic congestion and protecting the environment.” With the event being tomorrow, Barry says today would be a good time for parents to review bicycle safety tips with their kids — and to map out the best routes to and from school.

“Wearing a helmet, making sure they have the right equipment,” she says. “Choose the safest route. Teach your children proper bicycle hand signals. Use common sense and avoid those strangers. Tell children not to speak to strangers and to ride away if approached.” She says these subtle steps will provide parents with peace of mind and children the confidence they need to be able to bike to school. Barry adds, it also gives kids a chance to have some fun on their way to school and to get in a bit of exercise, too. She says, “Even just 10 to 15 minutes a day of physical activity, low-impact activities like biking and walking, can go a long way toward improving fitness and it’s really fun.” Communities across the country are encouraged to join together and bicycle to school today.

Learn more about Iowa bicycling events at “bikeiowa.com” or “iowagoesbybicycle.com”.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)