Friday, February 5th 2010 - Patsy Sommer Elementary School
Sommer kicks off bike riding pilot program
Posted Date: 2/2/2010
Round Rock ISD’s Sommer Elementary (16200 Avery Ranch Blvd., Austin 78750) will kick off a new student bicycle riding campaign, Freiker, with a Bike Parade and Rodeo on Friday, Feb. 5 at 3:45 p.m.
Guests including Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and RRISD Superintendent Dr. Jesús Chávez, Sommer Principal Mark Pratz and others will lead the students in a parade around the school before starting the Bike Rodeo. During the rodeo, helmets will be provided to students who do not own one and volunteers from Bicycle Sport Shop, Austin Cycling Foundation and Trek Bikes will offer bike safety checks and helmet fitting, followed by a bicycle safety clinic. Attendees will also have a chance to win a new bike, sponsored by Bicycle Sports Shop and Trek Bikes. Cyclists will learn all the rules of the road, how to merge with other cyclists, stop and start safety and navigate through turns and intersections.
Students taking part in the Freiker program will have Radio Frequency Identification chips installed in their helmets which will automatically record each time a child rides their bike to school. The school is the first in the state, and one of only 17 in the nation, which is using the revolutionary program to encourage transportation alternatives to and from school.
Not only will the program reduce some of the traffic congestion around the school, but it also addresses health problems such as obesity and diabetes that are at crisis levels in Texas School children. By getting exercise early in the morning, the program has reported additional benefits such as improved attendance, better test scores and a greater sense of community.
“We are thrilled to be a part of promoting student health and safety,” Pratz said. “Partnering with Freiker seems like a perfect way to support those great values and engage students in fun and good life-long health habits.”
The Freikometer, known as Zap, will begin checking students in when they arrive at school via their bicycles on Monday, Feb. 8. The data is then stored in an online database where it forms the basis for a variety of incentive programs that rewards regular participation.
Freiker partners and sponsors include Bicycle Sports Shop, Trek Bikes, Texas Bicycle Coalition, Austin Cycling Association and the City of Austin. Guests in attendance will include Trek Corporate Director of Advocacy and Public Policy Krista Rettig, Freiker CEO Tim Carlin, All About Health CEO Jen Ohlsen, Austin Cycling Association Director of Education Wes Robinson and Director of Advocacy for Bicycle Sport Shop Leslie Luciano.