The May Bike/walk to School Challenge month is neigh upon us! That wonderful time of year when the bicycle commuters of Portland become a little bit evangelical and try to recruit new members to the faith. Come one, come all, join hordes of transcendent individuals who commute to school and work with no traffic, easy, plentiful parking options, cardiovascular health, fresh air, and stress reduction. Say good bye to road rage, carbon foot print guilt, and the cost of feeding your fossil fuel guzzling beast! Feel the righteousness coarse through your veins!
If you live within 6 miles of TIS and own a kid-equipped bike, and havnt biked to school yet, I challenge you to ride to school at least four times during the month of May. I'm saying four since it might take a couple of trips to get the kinks out, and if you do it twice kink free, you will get hooked.
If you already bike or walk to school, I challenge you to increase the number of trips by 10-20% for the month of May.
If biking from home isn’t an option for you, how about driving to some place less than a mile a way from school and then biking or walking the rest of the way? There is plenty of parking on the East side of the Tillicum bridge, for example, and then you can walk or ride across that beautiful bridge. A "partial" ride is better than no ride, and still counts for your tally.
Again, May is Walk + Bike to School month. Pick up a scorecard at any front desk (Hilltop, Stearns, ECC) and fill out the number of trips you make May 1-31. If you also walk or bike home after school, please indicate that on your scorecard. You get double points for doing the round-trip. At the end of the month, we’ll be handing out prizes, including a sweet new kid-sized Nutcase helmet. Everyone who participates gets swag! Katherine Cole has again generously volunteered to donate a good bottle of wine to the cause, and I will throw in a couple of large bottles of premium beer. This will allow us to have a bike and a walk category winner, with the family that makes the most people powered commutes in May getting to choose between the beer or wine. May 2nd will be the first day to start recording.
On Wednesday, May 4th, we’ll meet up at the Salmon Street Springs fountain area to form a massive, unstoppable bike brigade to school. Please get there between 7:35 and 7:40, OK? If you are coming from the Southeast, it will be easier to come across the Hawthorne bridge that day rather than the Tillicum. Just like old times. There will also be a brigade coming from the South west, meeting at Elizabeth Caruthers Park south of the Tram, same time. May the 4th be with you!
Also, the "safe routes to school" fairies will be visiting the bicycles of good little children some time during the first week of the May to leave goodies. The more you bike that week, the better the chance that the fairies will visit their bike.
Go TIS! Who says that just because we draw from the entire greater Portland area, we cant compete with the local neighborhood schools?
Pick up those scorecards and pump up your tires, folks!
I look forward to seeing you May 4th, if not before, on your bike.
Please e-mail me with any questions, but make sure to put "Bike challenge" in the subject header, that way if it ends up in my junk folder, I can spot it more easily.
Chris Ginocchio(Lila's dad, 2nd grade Chinese), firstname.lastname@example.org.