Bike sharing programs—designed to get people out of cars and riding on two-wheels—are rolling out in cities around the country, as well as on college campuses including Rollins College and the University of Central Florida. And this month, Winter Park High School (WPHS) plans to launch one of its own.
The bike share program will debut at the school’s Live.Life.Healthy (LLH) Health Fair on September 24. (LLH is a student-created and led initiative, founded and supported with grant funding from the Winter Park Health Foundation, to encourage all students to eat healthier and be more active.)
A grant from the Florida Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program enabled LLH to purchase eight bicycles, eight kickstands and eight water bottle holders for the program. In addition, one beach cruiser was donated, as well as bike helmets for riders. LLH students are hoping to obtain additional funds to increase the number of bicycles available.
Once they register to participate in the program, students will be able to check out the bicycles Monday through Friday and over the weekends for free.
Right now, few students ride bikes to school, said Meg Pietkiewicz, WPHS Marketing teacher and Healthy School Team Co-Leader, who oversees LLH. “We are hoping to change that at least one student at a time.”
She said LLH hopes the bike share program will attract kids who currently don’t own bikes so that they will learn to love to ride. The group also hopes the program will appeal to students who live close enough to the school that they will choose to ride instead of drive. WPHS has the Cady Way Trail right behind our school which also gives the kids an opportunity for exercise, she added.
To supplement the new program, WPHS also has launched a Bike for Life Club which will be sponsored by a teacher Matt Johnson, who also is an avid cyclist.
In addition, the LLH health fair will include a table with information about bike safety, and in April, LLH plans to hold a Bike Rally—a scavenger hunt on bikes.
Stay tuned for more information about the WPHS bike share program and its upcoming 3rd annual LLH Health Fair.