April 9-13th marks the fifth, semi-annual I Bike Rosemont week at Rosemont Elementary. I Bike Rosemont is a combined effort between Rosemont Elementary, parents, students and neighbors. The week consists of morning bike rides to school by parents and students. The riders get a card that is punched each day they ride their bike to school. At the end of the week, the kids, their parents, volunteers and teachers participate in a group bike ride to Eno’s in Bishop Arts, where the kids turn their punch cards in for a free root beer float.
In addition, there are prizes for riders, a t-shirt sale, and “bike rodeo” event to celebrate the culmination of the week’s activities.
The two schools that make up Rosemont Elementary are ideally located in the middle of an urban neighborhood, with residents from all walks of life. I Bike Rosemont was started, in part, to increase bike ridership to school and to raise awareness for neighborhood riders. The number of riders grew from 5 in the first event to 140 on the last day of the fall 2011 bike week. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Christian Johnson, a West Kessler resident, Rosemont dad and local cyclist has been a driving force in the event. He spoke of one student who “on Monday had training wheels, but by Friday her extra wheels were gone and she was doing great!” Another volunteer, Jennifer Pickert, met a retired grandfather walking behind his 7-year-old granddaughter on her bike. He got the bike for her the night before so she could participate in the event. Pickert said, “It’s so inspiring to see families come together for this event.” Jenni Stolarski, a neighbor and volunteer likes the small-town feeling that I Bike Rosemont fosters. She said “Last spring, 7 of the 10 regular volunteers were Kings Highway neighbors who don’t have children, but want to support the school.”
Each successive event sees an increase in the number of riders. Because of this, the I Bike Rosemont team could use additional volunteers and sponsorships. To participate in either, please contact Christian Johnson at email@example.com or 214-763-8767.