Event Report: Walk to School Month at West Woodland

bike fairy fall 13 (Small)by Polly Freeman, West Woodland Elementary

For the month of October, West Woodland students tracked their non-driving trips to school (biking, walking, scootering, bussing) on spreadsheets outside each classroom door.

walkie award at West WoodlandOn International Walk to School Day, we met walkers and bikers outside the school with free breadsticks donated by Great Harvest Bakery. We moved away from giving small trinkets as incentives this year—instead, two high-participating classrooms (K-2 and 3-5) received the first annual “Walkie” award – a golden tennis shoe mounted on a decorative base created by one of our artistic parents and her team of junior artists.

Also, five top walkers and wheelers received headlamps donated by Second Ascent. Winning classes and individuals were recognized during a monthly all-school announcement over the intercom, which reinforced their participation and honored them in front of their peers.we met walkers and bikers outside the school with free breadsticks donated by Great Harvest Bakery.

The “Bike Fairy” was also spotted during Walk and Wheel Month, “catching” walking and wheeling students, and awarding them Hershey’s Kisses and stickers that say, “I got Kissed by the Bike Fairy.”

Kids remembered the Bike Fairy from last year, and were thrilled to spot the Fairy as they walked to and from school.

Breadsticks this Way!

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West Woodland Bike Rodeo Rides Again!

A bike rodeo is a safe and supportive place to get the youngest riders started

A bike rodeo is a safe and supportive place to get even the youngest riders started

guest post by Polly Freeman

Beating the odds on the weather, 65 cyclists and their families enjoyed an afternoon of bike riding at the West Woodland bike rodeo Sunday, April 28. Each cyclist got a helmet fit check before testing their skills at six stations and snacking on fruit and breadsticks. The bike safety check area was bustling with volunteers pumping tires, checking brakes and more. Fourteen cyclists also took home new low-cost helmets, custom-fitted by our volunteers, thanks to the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation. A dozen riders ventured out on two “urban” rides supported by Cascade Bike Club staff.

Everyone who completed the stations earned their choice of cool stickers, water bottles and patch kits courtesy of Gregg’s Cycles and Free Range Cycles. All riders were also entered in a drawing for NiteIze bike lights.

Thank you so much to our 20 dedicated parent volunteers, veterans and newbies alike, who make the bike rodeo possible – and fun! We rely on West Woodlan staff support and also thank our sponsors and donors, especially Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation, Gregg’s Cycles, Free Range Cycles, Great Harvest and Ballard Market.

Editors note: Reports like this are trickling in as schools around Seattle kick off Bike to School Month this year. Bike rodeos and other kickoff event were held at several schools last week, with more today and next week too. West Woodland is experienced at this, and Polly is too (her fifth bike rodeo!). They’ve worked out the bugs, and hopefully some of their approaches will be useful to others.

West Woodland Bike Rodeo Rider

West Woodland Bike Rodeo Shines!

West Woodland Bike Rodeo
By Polly Freeman

Fabulous weather and lots of enthusiasm from biking kids, parents, volunteers and sponsors made the 6th annual West Woodland Bike Rodeo one of the best ever on Sunday, May 6.

A total of 56 cyclists and their families enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon at the rodeo. Each participant got a helmet fit check before testing their skills at six stations, snacking on fruit and breadsticks, and enjoying a great day of riding. Many riders took advantage of the bike safety check area to get tires inflated, brakes checked and more.

Happy Kids on Bikes at West WoodlandTwelve cyclists also took home new, low-cost helmets courtesy of Cascade and custom-fitted by our volunteers. A dozen riders also ventured out on two “urban” rides supported by Cascade Bike Club staff and West Woodland parents (Cascade staff time was funded by a Safe Routes to Schools grant).

All the kids who completed the stations earned their choice of a variety of cool stickers, water bottles and patch kits courtesy of Gregg’s Cycles.They were also entered in a drawing for flashy NiteIze spoke lights.  Bolstering the ranks of our usual bike rodeo volunteers, we were happy to see a few new West Woodland parents volunteering and a HUGE (14) contingent of helpers from Ballard High School, who were spurred on in part by community service hours requirements but nonetheless helpful and welcome.

As BTS month continues, we will also have special stickers for kids riding to school on May 18, BTW/S day, and will award prizes to various categories of BTS riders at the end of the month.  We’re energized by the good turnout at the rodeo and already planning to meet to talk about next year’s walking and wheeling plans.