Anchorage Schools get kids on wheels Wednesday for Bike to School day

 Eric Sowl / KTUU
Eric Sowl / KTUU (KTUU)
Published: May. 4, 2016 at 8:02 AM AKDT
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Wednesday is the Anchorage School District's Bike to School Day, an annual and district-wide event open to each and every student in town.

As kids go back to school, hundreds of them from more than 50 schools and facilities will bike to school as part of a whole day promoting healthy habits, a cleaner environment, and of course, safe biking practices.

Last year, Gov. Bill Walker declared May 4 Bike to School Day throughout Anchorage. It's become a big event in such a short period of time: This year, the main event is taking place at Huffman Elementary School, where nearly 250 kids are expected to show up to school on two wheels.

"I'm super excited for it," said Fiona Peichel, a parent coordinator for the event at Huffman Elementary. "It's a great way to start off spring, kids are really motivated to get on their bikes. And it's not just a one-day event. It continues."

Parents and staff join in on the fun too, helping kids from all around ASD explore a healthy alternative to driving to school every day.

"It's about healthy futures," said Jim Sterling, a Huffman Elementary parent. "We're all about teaching these kids the longevity of health, and that taking care of yourself is the right way to go."

Sterling and his fifth-grade daughter, Sierra, biked from Goldenview Wednesday morning so that Sierra could participate in Bike to School Day.

"It's really far," Sierra said. "But it's exciting. I normally can't do that during the winter."

First-grader Sinan Dammad said he had to take a few breaks on his forty-minute journey from home to Huffman.

"It was a little bit hard, but I had fun," he said. "I was excited."

Keep in mind, all young bicyclists must wear a helmet, and should wear brightly-colored clothing as well. All bikers should also be taking one of the Safe Routes in Anchorage, which can be found

"It's easy to be complacent," Peichel said. "But this gets kids to want to ride their bikes to school and want to participate."

But it's not just the knowledge that these kids are winning: Each student who rides their bike to school on Wednesday can also enter a prize drawing for a brand new set of wheels, courtesy of The Bicycle Shop, or an in-store credit for the value of the bike.

"It's really exciting for us, to see the kids participating in this," said Natasha Bergt, an event organizer at Huffman. "They're not just doing it because they're told - they're actually asking to do it."

To learn more about ASD's Bike to School Day, click