Duxbury’s first Bike to School Day was a roaring success, as over 200 Duxbury students gathered at the Foodies Marketplace parking lot last Wednesday.
Event organizer Chris Shepler said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout, as nearly 150 bikes were counted at Alden and close to 50 were counted at the middle school once classes had begun for the day. With many students and their parents riding in from Powder Point and King Caesar Road, Shepler said he estimated well over 200 students rode to school. Nearly a dozen students made the trek to Chandler School and one family even rode to Bay Farm Montessori, he said.
“The feedback was great,” Shepler said. “The kids were excited to participate and wanted to bike to school again the next day.”
Due to the success of the event and the positive response from the community, Shepler said he might look into holding a couple of “bike to school” days throughout the school year.
“Of course, being from New England, we can only hold the bike to school days at the very beginning of the year or at the very end, but I think it would be great to get people riding to school more often,” he said.
Shepler said having Duxbury police officers at the event helped make it a safe and fun event. Ride PHAT (Protect your Head at All Times) was also at the event, handing out coupons to riders who were wearing helmets. Due to the high number of students riding safely, the group ran out of coupons in the morning and had to stock up on more for the afternoon ride home.
Shepler said the main focus of the event was bicycle safety. While the traffic was relatively light in the morning, the afternoon ride was more difficult, as there were many more cars on the road. The event was a good learning experience for Duxbury’s bike riders, Shepler said.
“We did not want a big parade with police cars and flashing lights because we did not want the kids to get the impression that they own the street,” he said. “The riders did a great job staying on the right side of the road and riding in single file.”
Shepler said he hopes to continue highlighting the importance of bike safety and the benefits of biking around town.