Elementary students learn different ABCs during ‘bike to school’ day

ST. GEORGE — As part of a “Ride Your Bike to School Day” event designed to promote healthier and cleaner transportation options, dozens of Heritage Elementary students rode their bicycles to school Friday.

Approximately 25 children started the ride, along with a few adults, shortly after 8 a.m. at a church parking lot at 550 E. 700 South.

Participants ride bikes during Heritage Elementary School’s “Ride Your Bike to School Day,” St. George, Utah, April 6, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

From there, the bicyclists made their way eastward along 700 South until they reached 900 East, at which point they turned right and headed south and west along Morningside Drive for several more blocks until they arrived at Heritage Elementary just before 8:45, and right in time for the before-school recess period.

By the time the riders all arrived at Heritage Elementary, there were at least 50 children participating, along with more than a dozen adults. Most rode bicycles, but there were a few others who walked or pushed scooters. Many of the students received free water bottles and other prizes at the end of the nearly mile-long ride.

Principal Adam Baker said while many students who live in close to the school routinely ride their bikes to school, this event gave those who live farther away a chance to participate.

Participants ride bikes during Heritage Elementary School’s “Ride Your Bike to School Day,” St. George, Utah, April 6, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

“It was a good opportunity to get out and ride,” said Baker, who accompanied the students on the ride, giving them support and encouragement as they traveled along.

At a school-wide assembly held earlier in the week, Heritage students were taught the importance of riding safely. The children learned about such things as the ABCs checklist (Air pressure, Brakes and Bolts and Chain), the importance of wearing helmets and basic traffic safety tips.

Third grade teacher Kathleen Berglund, who lives 3 1/2 miles from the school, says she enjoys riding her bike to work every day and that her husband also commutes to work via bicycle each day.

“This is one of the best days so far that I’ve had being a teacher,” Berglund said after the ride. “If we live close to a store or a school, we should be walking or riding our bikes.”

Participants ride bikes during Heritage Elementary School’s “Ride Your Bike to School Day,” St. George, Utah, April 6, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Third-grade student Taylor Brooks said her favorite part was having her dad drop off her and her bike at the starting point and then him being there at the school at the end to pick up her bike. A number of other parents did likewise, particularly those who live more than a mile or so away from the school.

A few other parents got on their own bicycles and joined their children on the ride, some of them bringing along another child or two.

“I thought it was going to be hard but it was pretty easy,” said third-grader Itzel Calbillo, who added it was the first time she had ever ridden her bike to school.

Lt. Ivor Fuller, one of three officers on the St. George Police bicycle patrol who helped guide the participants safely along the route Friday morning, called the event a success.

St. George Police bike patrol officers talk to participants on playground following Heritage Elementary School’s “Ride Your Bike to School Day,” St. George, Utah, April 6, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

“They followed the rules, they stayed on the sidewalk, they used the traffic signals the way they were supposed to. The kids did an excellent job,” Fuller said. “We’re excited for them to be able to ride their bikes and scooters and stuff to school. It’s a good option for them.”

Fuller said that although it’s safe for kids to ride their bikes to school, they should be given plenty of safety reminders.

“Parents need to keep talking to their kids on how to be safe on the way to school,” he said.

Several participating agencies helped sponsor and support the event, including Intermountain Healthcare / Dixie Regional Medical Center, The Bicycle Collective, Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance, Southwest Utah Public Health Department, City of St. George Leisure Services, SelectHeath and the Healthy Dixie Council.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • aaron April 6, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Is all this crap really necessary, what kind of a nanny state bull crap is this. What ever happened to learning these basic skills on your own without some sort of government authority of sorts constantly holding ones hand. I guess I used to think that this was the original roles of what parents would normally do not the frigging cops.

  • Striker4 April 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    at least those officers were doing something productive and working with kids instead of hiding behind a keyboard and talking crap like you.

  • comments April 7, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    They should be doing stuff like this while they’re off duty. ACTUAL VOLUNTEERING. Get them off these bikes and have them out doing traffic. Desperately needed traffic enforcement.

  • aaron April 7, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Alright cop lover, I don’t want the kids around here having a lot of faith in the police to be there for everything that they will need. These kids need to learn some personal self sufficiency.

  • aaron April 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Oh you mean that they were not out writing tickets for once.

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