To cap off a year-long bike/walk to school effort marked by several milestones — including — students and parents are aiming for one last record before school lets out for the summer.
On Wednesday, the community hopes to be the first Vienna school to have 100 students bike to class in a single morning — an accomplishment that, for a school about three and a half times that size, might seem far fetched. But given participation throughout the year and in recent weeks past, Safe Routes to School Coordinator Sean McCall says it's feasible. The school maxed out at 78 bikers during this year's week-long challenge in May, and in a last-minute effort on Friday, 92 student bicycles filled the racks on the school's blacktop.
Vienna has held , and this year set a new record to get to class instead of hopping on the bus or into their parents' cars.
Over the course of the year, VES parent volunteers also built momentum through , giving children tokens and charms for choosing to walk to school. kicked in free coffee for all parents who helped their child make the trip.
So far, Vienna's first bike train, at , has drawn the largest crowds, recording numbers of more than 80 during past challenges.
But it's the 100 mark VES is gunning for. And McCall thinks they'll hit it.
On Friday, older students made the turn from Center Street, or the W+OD trail, alone. Younger students were trailed by parents, who helped lock up bikes before their children ran to class. It's a routine, some parents said, they've found to be quicker than a trip by car or foot. A mile can be covered in about 10 minutes — much shorter than a car trip in morning rush hour traffic.
One of the biggest goals of the efforts, McCall said, is "get parents out here and show them what's possible," with the hope they'll work with their children to make biking (and walking) habits that stick.