Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vienna Bike/Walk Challenge - Final results

Day 5 is in the books of Vienna's Bike/Walk Challenge Week. Over 5400 kids walked or biked to school all week. The Overall Challenge Cup goes to first timer Westbriar ES with a bang up job on the last day of the 5 day challenge - with 178 kids walking or biking to school.

Vienna ES bike racks with 186 bikes!
Westbriar got smart and tapped into a group of kids who otherwise get driven to school - the morning SACC (before school care) group. About 15 kids from SACC walked or biked on the last day, the highest number yet. They are a hard group to get because parents are typically rushed to get to the office!

Vienna placed second overall with it's focus this year on setting new highs for kids who bike to school. As a result it took the Bike Cup for the third year in a row. After a Reston school hit a new high on National Bike to School Day, Vienna rallied the kids, parents and teachers to set a new high on Thursday of 155 and again on Friday of 186. Can 200 bikes actually be within reach of any school? 

The coffee shops were a buzz as it's customers were wondering out loud if they took a wrong turn and ended up in Portland. Kudos to the teachers who took time out of their morning planning to greet kids at various meet up points and ride in. 

The third spot was taken up by Wolftrap, the only school that participated in all six years for the entire week. Wolftrap with it's bike train culture ran one that passed through the Old Courthouse Road S-Curve, which is on the County's list of projects to create safer bike conditions. A second bike train was run from within the Town of Vienna limits. We've heard that the parents will make that bike train a weekly event for the rest of the year. In addition, those kids had a great time delivering bike safety tips and the weather with ABC7 on National Bike to School Day.

Here is the link for that: EILEEN BIKE TO SCHOOL

View on
While Marshall Road ES had lower numbers than past years, a large number of students braved the construction zone where a school addition is being built. Several children rode in the bike train, which saw its numbers increase every day throughout the week and set a new week-long bike total. It was even heard of students in early morning programs (French, Spanish, Fitness Warriors) running a bike train on their own!!!

Louise Archer, with notoriously difficult walking routes, has spent the last two years working with parents to encourage more walking. It's rumored that a bus stop was eliminated as a direct result of this week long Challenge. A group of Louise Archer students who attend that school's AAP center, but whose base school is Vienna, organized a bike train originating at Vienna Elementary School. How's that for leveraging how schools can work together? With that kind of effort, Louise Archer also set a new week-long high of bikes to school.

Cunningham Park also had a slight down year but the ever popular Casey the Cardinal, their giant red mascot, greeted walkers and bikers with 'free high fives'. Even commuters on the way to work on Park St. were excited to see Casey. Any ideas on who is inside?

The week is a lot of fun and huge thanks go out to the students who love it and have fun, parents who see just how important walking and biking to school is, and the school's principals, staff and teachers who get the direct benefit - kids ready to learn all week long. We'd also like to thank the Vienna Business Association for recruiting 30 businesses to donate a percentage of week long sales to the seven schools. Community involvement is always important.

Keep up the momentum kids. Great job on showing how to get to 'your' workplace for the adults who will join Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 16. We look forward to the 7th version of the Challenge next year, tentatively scheduled for May 4th-8th.

More photos from the Challenge:

Wolftrap ES
Westbriar ES
Westbriar ES
Louise Archer ES
Vienna ES bike train

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