Here’s the full article that was found on the front page on May 3rd!
Moscow students ready and raring to roll
Fill the Racks event successful despite snow
By Holly Bowen
Moscow-Pullman Daily News staff writer
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The slushy snowflakes tumbling down from the sky on Wednesday morning didn’t stop dozens of Moscow elementary and junior high school students from riding their bicycles and scooters to class.
The city of Moscow and Safe Routes to School encouraged students in grades K-9 to roll their way to school to observe Fill the Racks, an annual event that celebrates bicycles and other nonmotorized vehicles as safe and efficient transportation.
In addition to touting the benefits of increased physical activity and decreased air pollution and traffic congestion around schools, the national Safe Routes to School organization promotes safe and accessible paths around school facilities.
While the first National Bike to School Day is scheduled for next Wednesday, Moscow’s Safe Routes chapter held its annual biking event a week early.
At West Park Elementary School, students received green rubber wristbands in exchange for riding their bikes or scooters to class, and several children showed off their bracelets as a badge of pride.
Aengus Kennedy, 8, and his sister Petra, 6, said they usually walk to school but decided to ride their bikes for Fill the Racks. Their faces were red from the cold even though they were bundled in winter coats.
“My hands were freezing,” Aengus said.
His father, Brian, said the cold made it difficult to squeeze bicycle hand brakes.
Petra said Wednesday was her first experience riding her bike in the snow, which began to resemble rain as the morning went on.
Six-year-old Rosemary Ricks and her father, Weston, rode about a mile and a half to West Park from their home, but Rosemary said she was already accustomed to the ride. She sometimes rides to campus because Weston is a student at the nearby University of Idaho.
Sporting a rainbow-colored knitted scarf, Rosemary said the poor weather didn’t discourage her from riding to school – it actually made the experience a bit more fun.
“I got to ride and tried to splash my dad,” she said.
Ellie and Sophie Gomulkiewicz, 8-year-old twin sisters, and their father, Dick, also rode about a mile and a half to school Wednesday. They said they don’t ride to school very often but make a point to participate during Fill the Racks each year.
Unlike most of the other children who arrived at West Park, Ellie and Sophie rode scooters instead of bicycles.
“You don’t have to pedal like a bike, but it’s harder to get to places because it’s slower,” Ellie said.
Both girls encouraged other children to ride their bikes or scooters to school even when the weather is crummy like Wednesday.
“Even if it’s like this, you can keep going,” Ellie said. “Once you get there, you’ll feel proud of yourself.”
“You should keep going, even if it’s hard,” Sophie added. “You’ll probably still get there.”
While the snow discouraged large numbers of West Park students from riding to school Wednesday, Russell Elementary School teacher Eric Hudelson reported a more than 300 percent increase in the number of students observing Fill the Racks this year. He said more than 40 bicycles filled the racks at Russell.
The Moscow chapter of Safe Routes for Schools posts information about events in addition to a school-centered pedestrian/bicycle path map on its website at www.sr2smoscow.com.
You can also read this article and see the picture via the Moscow-Pullman Daily news web-site at: Moscow students ready and raring to roll – Moscow-Pullman Daily News: Local: fill the racks, safe routes to school, moscow, k-12, education.