Now is the time to get on your bike and ride!

Despite rain, more than 50 Gearity students and their parents participated in the first Walk or Bike to School day, in conjuction with International Walk to School Day on October 6, 2010, to build community and promote the health and environmental benefits of walking.

The popularity of cycling is soaring as more and more people recognize the benefits of bicycling for recreation and commuting. According to the Northeast Ohio Coordinating Agency, the number of bicyclists in Cuyahoga County increased by around 50 percent between 2006 and 2010.

Recognizing this trend, Cleveland Heights City Council proclaimed May “Bike Month." This proclamation highlights a key strength the city can build on. According to various government studies, Cleveland Heights has the busiest bicycle routes in the region. It also ranks high both locally and nationally, in bicycle usage for commuting. Those facts are a reflection of a city that attracts creative thinkers and young professionals seeking vibrant, sustainable communities in which to live and work. Bicyclists are part of the diversity we cherish in Cleveland Heights.

As part of Bike Month, and to make our communities even more bicycle friendly, the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition is working with physical education teachers and others at Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District elementary schools to promote Walk or Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 18.

The first Walk or Bike to School Day, supported by the bicycle coalition and physical education teachers, was held on October 6, 2010 in conjunction with International Walk to School Day. It was a great success, with students at four elementary schools participating enthusiastically. Children need an hour a day of physical activity for health and to improve concentration in school, and walking or biking to school helps them achieve that goal.

Addressing bicycle issues is a great way for cities and schools to collaborate productively. The bicycle coalition, elementary school physical education teachers, Cleveland Heights police, Cleveland Heights and University Heights city officials, PTAs and others are collaborating to restart bicycle education and rodeos for elementary school children. This group has also taken first steps toward Safe Routes to School involvement and grants through a parent survey at four district elementary schools. In addition, a bicycle coalition member has begun working with a CH-UH school district facilities manager to assess bike rack facilities at schools and plan for their improvement. Having good bicycle parking at our schools will make bicycling to school more feasible.

The Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition encourages everyone to walk or bicycle around town. Bicycles are a perfect mode of transportation for those who are concerned about the environment, their health or their pocketbook. In short, almost everyone! Bicycling can make one feel good physically, Depending on oneself to get around can feel empowering.

Much more is happening to improve bicycling in the Heights. To find activities during Bicycle Month, check the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition website, For events in Greater Cleveland, go to Cleveland Bicycle Week at

Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition

Who’s in on the bicycling action?
Schools that participated in Walk or Bike to School Day on Oct. 6, 2010

  • Canterbury Elementary
  • Fairfax Elementary
  • Gearity Professional Development School
  • Roxboro Elementary

Schools participating in Walk or Bike to School Day on May 18, 2011

  • Canterbury Elementary
  • Fairfax Elementary
  • Gearity Professional Development School
  • Noble Elementary
  • Oxford Elementary

Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors

  • Greta De Meyer
  • Mary Dunbar
  • Joy Henderson
  • Brandon Henneman
  • Ian Hoffman
  • Nicholas Matthew

School Bicycling Committee

  • Nancy Dietrich, Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition
  • Mary Dunbar, Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition
  • Alice Stratton, physical education teacher, Fairfax Elementary
  • Fiona Kuntz, physical education teacher, Gearity Professional Development School
  • Julie Lustic, physical education teacher, Canterbury Elementary
  • Susanna O’Neil, director of community services, Cleveland Heights
  • Richard Wong, director, planning and development, Cleveland Heights
  • Susan Pardee, coordinator of school improvement/federal programs, CH-UH City School District, and University Heights City Council member

Bicycle Rack Committee

  • Laura Marx, Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition
  • John Foreman, building manager, CH-UH City School District

Schools participating in safe routes to schools

  • Canterbury Elementary
  • Fairfax Elementary
  • Gearity Professional Development School
  • Noble Elementary

Mary Dunbar

Mary Dunbar is a cofounder of the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition.


Read More on Health & Wellness
Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 11:14 AM, 05.03.2011