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Monday, May 5, 2008

In Bay Village, cycling is not, at least for the moment, too cool for school

Posted By on Mon, May 5, 2008 at 10:58 AM

tour-de-france2.jpg
Bay students race to Mrs. T's first-period bio class. Word is there's a pop quiz worth hella points.
Readers: Be careful when driving out near the Bay Village area. Hundreds of Bay High School students are pedaling to school this month on their bicycles. It’s irrefutable proof that Al Gore and Lance Armstrong are slowly undermining the auto industry. The sneaky bastards. (It’s also proof that $3.67 for a gallon of gas is re-freaking-diculous. But it’s all good. There’s gonna be a holiday!) ... The Bay program, aptly called “Bike to School Month," was launched by the Bay High school and aided by Century Cycles, who provides incentives for the students to ride, like T-shirts and speedometers and the occasional burrito. And get this: it’s actually working. The first three days averaged more than 300 backpack-toting cyclists. “It’s a bit of a surprise,” says Century owner Scott Cowan. “It’s hard to motivate high school kids.” To adequately store the bikes, Bay has set up temporary bike parking outside the school. It consists simply of a long cable stretching from a tree to a sign post, but we suspect it's considered slightly cooler than having to lock up in the racks like us bike-riding dorks usually do. Even some teachers are pedaling to school. “We’ve got normal folks challenging themselves,” Cowan says, in polite reference to the paunch of courage carried by most high-school science teachers. “And the increase in cyclists is freeing-up the normally congested Wolf Road.” As the program moves forward, Cowan hopes the momentum will continue. The all important week three will most likely represent the Alp d’Huez for the budding cycle commuters. But as the weather gets better one could argue that they’ll be treating it like George Hincapie treats the Paris Roubaix. Namely, with cool sunglasses and shaved legs. – Bradley Campbell

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