Bike to school day returns to Cheshire

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CHESHIRE – Bike day to school is back. The event was launched in 2019, but was canceled last year, due to the pandemic.

“Bike to School is the best thing we have to do in Bike Cheshire. Seeing everyone smile and feel the joy of riding a bike is just good for the soul, ”said Jim Jinks, Founder and CEO of Bike Cheshire.

The event is slated to begin with Chapman’s School Biking Day on Wednesday. Highland School Bike Day will take place on October 6, the National School Walk and Bike Day.

Recalling the inaugural ride with the Doolittle students in 2019, Jinks recalled the impact it had on some young people. A student riding alongside Jinks said, “You know, it’s surprisingly fun. “

The student had never ridden a bicycle to school before.

“I think we helped open his eyes,” Jinks said. “I hope this is what we are doing for children and parents. Riding a bike just to get around town is not only possible but often much better than taking the car. It’s an adventure in a way driving can never duplicate.

Jinks and Bike Cheshire are hoping Bike to School Day wins – getting bigger and more frequent.

“It would be really great if we got to the point where small groups would cycle to school once a week or even more often. Bike to School Day shouldn’t be an ‘event’, ”he said. “It should be more of a part of our lives, as it was decades ago.”

According to Jinks, the Bike Day to School events will be part of more than 1,100 other events across the country to celebrate biking (and walking) to school. The rides at Chapman and Highland Elementary Schools are open to all students and their parents. Bicycles must be two-wheeled (no training wheels). Children from Kindergarten to Grade 2 must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must be registered, sign a waiver and wear a helmet. For more details, visit facebook.com/bikecheshire and walkbiketoschool.org.

In addition to the Bike to School day, Bike Cheshire is also announcing its Safe Biking. Safe Kids Initiative. Beginning in May 2022, Bike Cheshire will be offering a Safe Riding and Cycling Skills Program for Fourth-graders in Cheshire. Bike Cheshire will provide bicycles, helmets, other equipment and volunteers to help elementary physical education teachers in Cheshire run fun and engaging gym classes on bikes and horse safety.

Initial funding for the program was made possible by businesses and community donors including Hartford Healthcare, ConnectiCare, Cheshire Cycle Racing Team, Marion Manufacturing, Gromko Insurance, the Nutmeg Youth Triathlon Team and the Coalition for a Sustainable Cheshire. Donations helped Bike Cheshire and the Nutmeg Youth Triathlon Team qualify for a $ 10,000 matching grant from Outride (www.outridebike.org), a philanthropic organization affiliated with Specialized Bicycles.

“Cycling is a life skill that all children should have the chance to learn. There was a time when bikes were a part of gym classes, we just bring them back, ”Jinks said. “We are really happy to partner with the Nutmeg Youth Triathlon Team (NYTT) on this initiative and very grateful to all of our generous donors and the Outride organization for helping to make this happen in Cheshire. . “

Doug Levens of NYTT said, “In my work at the Cheshire YMCA and as a youth triathlon coach, I always try to promote healthy lifestyles for our children. It’s just one more way that I can help get our kids outside and be physically active and at the same time reassure parents that their kids understand how to drive safely in the city.

Bike Cheshire is a non-profit community founded in 2018 dedicated to making Cheshire a more bike-friendly community. Bike Cheshire operates a community bike-sharing service, organizes group events, and promotes cycling for better health, safer streets, more successful small businesses, and community building in Cheshire and beyond.


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