NYC’s First Bike-to-School-Day Celebration
Today Brooklyn’s William Alexander School MS 51 was the first school in the five boroughs to host a Bike to School Day. MS 51 celebrated Bike to School Day with the help of the New York City Department of Transportation, Bike New York and Matthew Modine's Bicycle for a Day. Throughout the week Bike New York held workshops to educate the students about bike safety and riding techniques to prepare for this day. There were two escorted rides to MS 51 this morning, one started in Sunset Park and the other in Carroll Gardens. The rides had "pick up" spots along the way where more students joined the biking pool. Return rides were also planned. Hear from students and event organizers in this video wrap-up of the ride.
Photos Below by Robin Urban Smith :
Hayes A. Lord: [0:06] 1: Thank you for participating today. [music]
Girl: [0:19] 1: My name is Jasmin Jolly. I am 14 and I am biking to school.
Girl 2: [0:22] I think it is pretty cool that we get to hang out with my friends doing some exercise while getting to school.
Kimala: [0:28] My name is Kimala. I am thirteen years old and I'm biking. I really like biking. It is good for the environment. It is good for your body and stuff. [music]
Hayes A. Lord: [0:39] 1: We have two different routes: one from Sunset Park. It's about four miles. The other one was from [inaudible 00:45] Gardens, which is approximately two miles. The kids that joined us ranged from 7th to 8th graders and we found that everybody is really excited about participating.
Girl: [0:57] 3: Yeah, biking to school is awesome.
Girl: [0:59] 4: I am biking with my friends. It makes a fun like that. [music]
Girl: [1:05] 3: I think it is a great way to get kids to be active. It is not like taking the bus or riding in the car, wasting energy, polluting air. [music]
Matthew Modine: [1:22] 1: What a great ride today. Giving the kids an opportunity to ride a bike to school is such a way of giving them a sense of freedom and liberation. It is good for their health and good for their minds and good for their sense of awareness and consciousness.
Hayes A. Lord: [1:36] 1: We saw this as an opportunity to work with the younger generation of potential cyclists so they can learn skills and techniques in order to ride their bike in traffic.
Rich Conroy: [1:47] 1: So what we did today is invite some New York staff, rode with the kids when we gave them a few pointers here and there, but mostly the kids did great. [1:56] I think it is important to do things like this because a lot of parents, a lot of school administrators, a lot people who don't know cycling very well think it is too dangerous to be a cyclist in New York City. What we want to show is that it is possible to ride a bike even if you are a middle school kid, to ride your bike to school.
Lenore Berner: [2:18] 2: We were really excited to get involved with Back to School Day. We have a lot of teachers and students who want to ride their bikes. We asked DOT to give us more bike racks and then we realized this was going to be an event that a lot of students would rally around. I hope we get to do it every year. Perhaps some kick-off event like this will have kids riding bikes to school more often, not just when we have an event. [music]