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The Chicago region’s current hub-and-spoke transit system leaves nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts.

Bike to School Day a success in District 15

This is a guest blog post by Ralph Banasiak, an eighth-grade math teacher in Community Consolidated School District 15.

Student bike riders in the northwest suburbs of Chicago embraced Bike to School Day in a big way on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. More than 500 students from one junior high and five elementary schools in Community Consolidated District 15 rode their bikes to school through Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Hoffman Estates.

The Bike Palatine Club (BPC) sponsored the Bike to School Day initiative, conducting a bike raffle and two workshops in the weeks leading up to the event.

Workshops included an ABC (air, brakes and chain) clinic, screening of a traffic safety video and a bicycle safety evaluation with a Palatine police officer. Every elementary student who rode to school received a bike sticker courtesy of the club.

Mikes Bike Shop in Palatine and the Palatine Park District also chipped in to make Bike to School Day a success. Mikes provided Palatine’s Winston Campus Junior High with a bike and several discounted bike accessories for its school-wide raffle, as well as free water bottles for Winston riders.

The Palatine Park District delivered and assembled additional bike racks for each school in order to accommodate the hundreds of extra bikes.

“A special shout-out is in order to the Palatine Park District for its assistance with the additional racks it provided,” said Kevin Keehn, a retired District 15 teacher and BPC vice-president. “None of the schools were set up to handle so many extra bikes on Bike to School Day.”

For more information on the Bike Palatine Club, visit www.bikepalatine.com.