Cary, NC – Even in a town as bike-friendly as Cary, there is still lots of car traffic, especially in the mornings when parents are dropping their kids off at school. To give students a change of pace, four elementary schools participated in this year’s National Bike to School Day.
Greenway to School
Every May 4 is National Bike to School Day when students are encouraged to bike, or walk, to their schools instead of take a car or bus. And this year, Cary elementary schools built onto the event with guided trips and informational sessions.
At Northwoods Elementary, about 100 students gathered to bike or walk from Godbold Park to their school. The children were guided by Richard Kelley of Ricky’s Rickshaws.
“I led the group of children through our fabulous greenway with the school mascot and the vice principal riding in the rickshaw,” Kelley said.
Later in the day, Northwoods also put on a presentation by Cary police on bike safety and awareness.
Kelley, who operates his rickshaw business in downtown Cary, said the Northwoods PTA knew about him and his cycling and asked him to lead the walk. Kelley also gives kids rickshaw rides to school on their birthday.
“It’s about giving back to the community,” Kelley said. “It’s getting them away from the computer, out of the car and into the fresh open air.”
Events Around Town
Other elementary schools in Cary were involved, from Farmington Woods to Highcroft Drive to Laurel Park. In addition to organizing students to ride or walk to class, the elementary schools held events related to bike safety.
For example, Laurel Park Elementary gathered students in Apex Community Park to take part in a mobile bike repair clinic by Cycle Forward, a biking advocacy group. Cycle Forward also performed bike repairs and safety checks on helmets. There were also bicycle races before the students left to ride to school.
“Cary is such a bike-friendly town,” Kelley said. “With all the greenways, the bike paths and all the money we spend on maintaining them.”
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Amy Sackaroff.