The Park City School District has held Bike to School Day events for more than a decade but it’s always been in the spring time. This year, the Park City Transportation Department and McPolin Elementary coordinated a companion event for the start of school, rather than at the end. They’re hoping to launch the new school year by encouraging kids and parents to ride safely and ride often. Carolyn Murray was at the event and has this:
It was a massive turnout of kids and adults on bikes, strollers, striders and scooters. Bike Back to School at McPolin Elementary is sure to become an annual tradition just like their flag raising ceremony on Fridays. Parents, kids, and city officials started gathering before 8 am at four neighborhood locations around town. Park City Police provided escorts to the High School where local businesses and non-profits provided food, helmets and safety information for the hundreds who participated. Senior Transportation Planner, Julia Collins spearheaded the bike event and worked with multiple organizations to bring it together.
“So, this year we are really fortunate we have participation from the National Abilities Center. We also have Move Utah which is a division of UDOT, they’re active transportation division to really promote walking and biking for UDOT. They’ve really come to the table. We have Bike Utah a non-profit advocacy that are doing bicycle education throughout the day at McPolin and they’re going to give bicycle safety classes to the students.”
Collins says Bike Utah and the Department of Public Safety conduct a bike rodeo during recess. She says many sponsors have made McPolin’s Bike Back to School a huge success.
“Setting up cones, cross walks and stop signs and the kids will work through this obstacle course to learn safe handling skills. That is sponsored by the Department of Public Safety. They’re coming up as well. Other private sponsors who are participating as well. We have Wasatch Bagels who donated all the food. Cole Sport , Jans Sport…they’ve been really active in giving discounts on the helmets and also having bike mechanics here to help the students work on their bikes. Mountain Trails…I can’t say enough about the support from Mountain Trails so I just want to say thank you to everyone who supports them.”
They distributed over 130 helmets. Two of those helmets went to 5th grader Evan and his sister Jane, who’s in fourth grade. They ride to school all the time, but both were excited about their new helmets.
“They only have black so I got black…that’s sharp…. ….Dad this is so nice, it actually feels good…”
George says the Bike to School Event was a great incentive for his seven-year-old to learn to ride.
“You know, my daughter didn’t learn how to ride a bike. We’ve been practicing all week and she was so proud of herself she road on the bike ride. It’s gone from being scary to lots of fun and we’re in a great place for riding so it’s wonderful.”
Oliver’s Dad says they just moved to Park City a couple of weeks ago.
“Oliver…I am in first grade. I think it’s really cool cause I’ve never done it before. I lived on a really busier street and I didn’t want to get run over by cars. I think it’s a great community. I’m a big biker. I love that my son is here now. We bike almost every day. We use the jump park and exploring the trails so It’s ag reat thing to have.”
Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea gave a few words of welcome and praise for the students. It was her first experience with a Bike to School Event.
“So, this is amazing to see how many kids came out. I love to see how they brought all the children together and did the school song. Reminded us of their ROCK rules of respect and safety and caring for one another. They did an awesome job.”
McPolin students all know what ROCK stands for: Respect, Organize, Collaborate and be Kind. McPolin’s students know how to ride bikes but they also know how to sing.
You can hear students singing the McPolin Song by playing the audio.
McPolin Song Lyrics:McPolin is a beautiful school in the mountainsMcPolin is a place for you and meMcPolin is making my life so much brighterYou will see and agree that for me is to be at McPolin today!Discovering the world around meWith friends and teachers dearI can reach my full potentialLearning what and why while I am here!