Students bike to Windsor schools during National Bike to School Day | MyWindsorNow.com
Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

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Students bike to Windsor schools during National Bike to School Day

Bicycling is one Windsor family's way to spend more time together. They were able to do just that Wednesday morning, as Russ Carson rode his bike with his daughters to their school for National Bike to School Day.

Bella Carson, a second-grader at Tozer Primary School, and Bria Carson, a kindergartener, rode ahead of their dad. As the trio pulled up to the school, staff handed out bananas and other treats and cheered for them and other children who rode their bicycles or walked to school.

Bella and Bria's mom, Laura Stewart, said the family enjoys riding the trails around Windsor.

"It's a nice way for us to spend time together," Stewart said.

Veronica Becerra, a physical education specialist at Tozer, organized the Bike/Walk to School Day and met with several students to ride bicycles together to the school. She said the school hosts events in the spring and fall, and she teaches a bicycle safety unit every fall.

"We do it to promote safety on roads and more physical activity," she said.

She asked the Windsor Police Department to be present in the area for the day for added safety, Becerra said, but Windsor police Lt. Craig Dodd said the department rarely receives calls for crashes involving motorists or students walking to school.

Russ Carson said he was glad to see members of the police department and crossing guards in the area, and Stewart said the family loves the bi-annual event.

"It's amazing," she said.

Bella and Bria said they like riding their bikes with their family.

"It's fun," Bria said.

West Middle School also hosted a Bike to School Day event, with assistance from the town of Windsor. Eric Johnson, principal at West Middle School, said more than 100 students participated, even though the skies appeared to be threatening rain.

"We initially were approached by the town of Windsor and are in a community partnership with them," Johnson said. "Just really trying to encourage students to make good and healthy and safe choices."

With the help of Safeway, CostCo and the town, the school handed out bags to students who walked or rode bicycles or skateboards to school. The bag included a Windsor Middle School pencil, bottle of water, granola bar, frisbee and a bike safety handout, according to the school.

When the weather cooperates, Johnson said, the school sees close to 150 students riding their bikes, walking or skateboarding to school, like during this past October's event.

Bicycle safety often is a topic of conversation at the school, Johnson said, especially due to its proximity to a state highway. Windsor Middle School, he said, has been working with the town to establish safe routes for students to reach the school.

"We constantly stress to them the importance of not only general bike or skateboard safety when they're around town, but even pedestrian safety," he said.

Johnson said he hopes one of the impacts of the Bike to School Day events will be to raise drivers' awareness of students as they walk or ride to school.

Safe bicycling

The Colorado Department of Transportation gave participants in Bike to School Day some bicycle safety tips in a news release. The tips are as follows:

» Protect your brain – helmet up on every ride

» Do a bike ABC Quick Check (Air, Brakes, Cranks and Chain)

» Be visible, wear bright clothes

» Stick to your planned route to and from school

» Ride in the same direction as traffic when on the street

» Look left, right and left again before crossing the street

» Use hand signals when stopping or turning

» Be extra careful by driveways, parking lots, and intersections