Bike-to-school attracts hundreds | ParkRecord.com

Bike-to-school attracts hundreds

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

About 100 bicyclists gathered at the Yarrow Hotel Friday morning for a trek across town on Bike to School Day, celebrating National Bike to School Week.

Carol Potter, Executive Director of the Mountain Trails Foundation, which promotes a "bicycle friendly community," said Friday’s turnout was considerably better than the previous year’s. Riders set out for Ecker Hill International Middle School, a ride of about seven miles. "These kids are tough, said Potter.

Carolyn Frankenburg of The Coalition for Streets, and her daughter Sophie, organized the ride.

"I was frustrated with how dangerous the roads are for bikes and walkers," Frankenburg said. "I suggested to my daughter Sophie who attends Ecker Hill, this would make a great service project for International Baccalaureate."

Sophie took over from there. She worked two months making flyers and permission slips for potential riders, and got her friends interested. A lot of my friends will be doing it, she said. She said Principal Greg Profit was excited and thought it was a great idea.

The route started with a continental breakfast in the Yarrow parking lot, take side trails to Willow Creek, picking up more bikers, then on to the Basin Field House to pick up a final group.

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But the final leg of the ride would not be safe for riders crossing State Route 224, and that’s when Sophie enlisted the help of the Summit County Sheriff’s to escort riders across the highway.

As Ecker Hill sixth-grade teacher Dianne Vance waited for the ride to begin, she said, "Every little thing we do here makes a difference." She was riding a mint green bike straight out of the 1950s.

Ecker Hill student Jonas Peek contemplated the speed he would likely reach during the ride. "This is an old bike. I might get up to 20 miles per hour."

"This ride is cool," said his friend, August Orschell.

Meanwhile, kids, parents and teachers biked and walked to McPolin Elementary School, where students would be taught bike safety by Park City Police Department officers, helmets and bikes would be given away, followed by a school bike parade at noon.

"People riding their bikes is a win- win situation for everybody, along with recycling, to decrease global warming," Frankenburg said. "Every little thing, just by choosing once not to get in your car can make a difference. But it can’t happen if people aren’t safe riding."