Bike to School Day in Norwich
Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day in Norwich. It was also the official Bike to School day— an event which is held once in the fall and again in the spring.
I contacted Jill Kearney, Director of the Norwich Recreation department, who stated that Jamie Hess was the originator, and it was organized approximately 12 years ago. Bob Burnham succeeded him. It is now run by Dan McGinley-Smith. (Many others who assisted and you know who you are. Congratulations for a job well done.)
I thought it would be nice to do a story on this event and reached out to Dan McGinley-Smith. Dan told me that there were many more small bikes this fall, which bodes well for participation in the years to come. “I saw a lot of smiles and not too many tears,” he said. ” He thanked all who took time out of their busy morning to help make this possible and especially to all the new volunteers this fall that hopefully will help again in the spring. Dan then answered a few questions.
How long would you say this program has been in effect and how was it started?
I am not sure of this answer, but I contacted Bob Burnham (the former organizer of the event and he gave me this reply: Bike to School Day was originally called “ Walk/Bike to School Day” and the 2005 report stated that there were between 125-150 participants. Bob seemed to remember that the Bender family inspired him by riding their bikes to school on most days.
You have been heading it up for a few years. How many?
I took over from Bob Burnham (who did a great job) in April 2014.
There seems to be more participation each year. You counted 143 this year which is more than in the past. What would you say has led to this increase?
I think participation has been pretty consistent, perhaps trending up to the higher end of the range that was mentioned in the 2005 report. In recent years, I know that the support of Bill Hammond and Doug Robinson and the Norwich Police department has been critical to making this a fun and safe event that families want to join.