Thanks for supporting our Bike to School Day | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

Thanks to so many for making Bike to School Day 2019 such a great day.

I can’t speak for everyone, but from the perspective of a Sakai sixth-grade teacher so much went so well thanks to so many. The day started with Sakai custodian Bob Houston and district groundskeeper Logan Fenwick getting the school ready for the two-wheeled arrival of hundreds of students guided by dozens of adults.

Shortly after that the members of Sakai’s Bike to School committee under the leadership of Jo VanderStoep set up a greeting station stocked with treats and trinkets provided by Squeaky Wheels. New PE teacher Ben deGuzman also was there to supervise the parking of bikes and the creation of the bike highways that the kids would be able to cruise during their lunch recess.

Out on the road our riders were gathering on the heels of the elementary-school riders. I began my ride at Wilkes and arrived early enough to see dozens of pint-sized pedalers chaperoned by nearly as many parents. It looks like there are plenty of people willing to give biking to school a try. Maybe some seeds are being planted that will lead to more regular non-motorized transportation.

By 8 a.m. my Wilkes group numbered more than 20 students (including some heading to Woodward) and about eight adults. Huge thanks to community members and school staff who volunteered to escort the students on their rides.

Speaking of escorts, our group had the protective presence of one of the Bainbridge Island Police Department’s officers following us all the way down Madison and up Sportsmans Club. I heard from riders coming in from Lynwood Center that they too had a police escort. Thank you so much for that, BIPD. You’re the best.

At this point I should also thank the many motorists who patiently waited and carefully maneuvered around the student cyclists. I know the quantities of young people on the roads complicated the normal morning drive. Your caution and consideration were very much appreciated.

To cap things off, the sun came out in the afternoon and made Sakai’s PTO-funded performance by the professional stunt cycling team Ride and Glide a thrilling end to wonderfully celebratory day.

So, once again, using the methods the sixth-graders prefer, high five, fist bump, and infinite dab to one and all.

JIM STARRS

Sixth-grade teacher

Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School

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