Thoughts from 2013 Walk + Bike Organizers

Burt Tate from Roseburg, Oregon


My favorite memory of the Walk+Bike Challenge was hearing from teachers that kids were excited to be competing in the Challenge and seeing participation triple.

I recommend the Challenge to all schools because kids are sorely lacking in physical activity, and this makes it more fun while raising awareness about walking and biking safety needs.


Christine Beirman from Gresham, Oregon


What I like best about coordinating the Challenge is acknowledging each student for what they do almost every day: walking, biking, or riding their scooter or skateboard to school. That might sound obvious, but truthfully, many of these students seldom get recognized for anything positive.

The biggest barrier to walking to school could be Oregon’s notorious wet weather. For cyclists: the cost of a bike, helmet, lock, and secure storage.

When I grew up, kids only had to run or bike faster than the hungry T-Rex. Seriously, it was a different, more innocent America when even little first graders could walk home to eat lunch with Mom. There were no questions if we would be safe. No one would harm a kid.

The thing that caught my attention the first year I started the activity was the unexpectedly high numbers of students who do walk, bike, or ride to school. Now that we have an uninterrupted sidewalk in front of our school, I feel a sense of security for these students.


Amy Higgs from Portland, Oregon


I wanted to share with you Emerson’s Walk and Bike Challenge display I made this year. I asked kids what they liked most about walking and biking to school then added their quotes on a poster. Since then, families have crowded around to read it, and I’ve been adding more kids every week. I just love their reasons — very sweet.


Kirsten Kauffman from Portland, Oregon


Llewellyn has bike trains and prizes for walkers and bikers every Friday in May. This year, we also created a “Park and Walk” lot to reduce auto traffic around the school.


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