Today is officially Bike to Work Day, and if you saw a surplus of bicyclists on the road this morning, you have the Centre Region Bicycle Coalition to thank. Doing their part to ensure that Centre County can fully participate in this nationwide initiative, the CRBC has planned a variety of bicycle-related events and activities designed to get the region rolling.
Currently in its 58th year, May is Bike Month, and, in addition to Bike to Work Day, the CRBC has joined forces with the State College Area School District to plan events to celebrate those willing to strap a helmet onto their heads and leave their keys at home.
“During Bike Month, CRBC works closely with SCASD to promote biking among school children of all ages and their families,” said Brucie Serene, a member of the CRBC. “Bicycling is an activity that parents and children can enjoy together.”
“We are trying to make people aware that it’s easier to bike to work than a lot of people think it is,” added Susannah Barsom, of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. “If we work together to make sure there are safe routes to work, and safe routes to school for children, we can become a healthier, more connected community.”
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While pedaling to school and work this month is a given, perhaps the most exciting activity the CRBC and SCASD have planned is their annual Bicycle Scavenger Hunt. Participants are encouraged to visit the CRBC’s website to get a list of clues before biking off to 21 different locations throughout the region. Once a clue is uncovered, all it takes is a picture with you and your bike and you can cross that locale off your list.
“I’m always surprised at the dedication of the variety of cyclists who participate in and complete the photo scavenger hunt,” said Paul Rito, a former president of the CRBC. “This year, if you’re real careful, you can visit all of the locations in a single trip of about 52 miles.”
What the CRBC wants to impart on Centre County is that bicycling is beneficial to almost everyone.
“Studies have shown that kids who cycle or walk to school prevent and even reverse obesity, and those benefits stick with those kids as they become adults” Rito said.
“And, of course, there are the more serious reasons to bike as well. There are fewer cars on the road, less air pollution and less traffic,” Serene said.