The W+OD trail seemed more like a packed Maple Avenue than a peaceful recreation path this morning, as commuters from across Northern Virginia passed through Vienna on National Bike to Work Day.
As many as 10,000 bikers were expected to bike to work across the Washington, D.C. region, many of them passing through town to get to Arlington, Downtown or Reston.
At least 50 bikers stopped on the Town Green around 7:45 a.m. this morning as dozens more passed by, enjoying bananas, larabars and coffee from Whole Foods Market, along with cycling advice from employees at Bikes at Vienna and Spokes, Etc. The groups set up at 6 a.m. and saw tens more cyclists fill up bike racks in what organizers called one of their best years yet.
It was also a record-breaking year for the three Vienna elementary schools that participated in the third annual Walk/Bike challenge, a week-long program that pit Cunningham Park, Wolftrap and Vienna Elementary students against one another to see how many of them could leave their cars at home and get to school on foot instead.
A total of 644 students across three schools biked or walked to class on Friday -- a number that surpassed the week's next highest participation number by nearly 100.
Wolftrap Elementary School hit a single-morning record on Friday with 89 bikers. Principal Anita Blain joined the school's bike train this morning on their last run.
Cunningham Park surpassed its week-high by 50 students, and Vienna doubled its number of bikers.
Tara MacCall, the parent organizer at Vienna Elementary School, said she wanted to continue a weekly bike train on Fridays, with a post-dropoff bike ride for the parents.
Organizers at all three schools will present awards to students in the coming weeks.
"We're always encouraging our kids to do more," MacCall said. "Hopefully we'll continue [walking and biking to school], since its spring and the weather is nice."
||16 (15+1 scooter)
||94 (43 cars)
||76 (60 cars)
||41 cars bring 53 kids (not clear if single or carpool)
|Monday Walkers/Bikers||Tuesday Walkers/Bikers||Wednesday Walkers/Bikers||Thursday
|Cunningham Park||161 *(adjusted from original)
The correct total has been changed to reflect revised counts on other days.