Are You Walking or Biking To School October 5th?

Lawrence / Douglas County's Fall Walk / Bike to School Day Is October 5th

Lawrence / Douglas County’s Fall Walk / Bike to School Day Is October 5th

Below is is a repost from a  Lawrence’s Well Commons article dated 9/27/16
Lawrence-area students are once again dusting off their walking shoes in preparation for this fall’s annual Walk to School Day.

Slated for Oct. 5, the global event encourages kids — and their parents — to walk or bike to school on a designated day each year. All Lawrence elementary schools — with the exception of Pinckney, which has moved students to Lawrence’s East Heights School while undergoing renovations — are participating in this year’s local celebrations, says Michael Showalter, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s health promotion specialist.

The health benefits of walking, he says, are obvious. In addition to spurring more physical activity overall in kids, studies link walking with helping to maintain healthy weight, blood pressure, and bones, muscles and joints, Showalter said.

There’s also, he said, the promise of social interaction that kids won’t find in a car commute.

“It’s about togetherness and connecting with your community and your friends,” says Showalter, who also coordinates the Health Department’s Safe Routes to School program.

He has seen plenty of groggy kids in school parking lots rolling themselves out of Mom’s car in the same way they’d sluggishly roll themselves out of bed in the morning. Walking, Showalter says, wakes students up, creating a mindset that is ready to engage in learning.

Last year, “we had over 3,000 students,” mostly at the elementary-level, participate in Walk to School celebrations in Lawrence, he says. This year, the Health Department and its partners are widening their scope to Eudora Elementary School, where kids will end their walking journey to school after meeting first at the Eudora Public Library and using the new shared-use path that runs behind the school.

In Lawrence, Sunset Hill Elementary School is offering muffins and juice for walkers, while Langston Hughes Elementary School is celebrating with music and prizes. New York Elementary School students are invited to meet staff and Principal Nancy DeGarmo at Hobbs Park (702 E. 11th St.) at 7:30 a.m. for an en masse walk down 11th Street and eventually New York Street to the school.

Local Walk to School Day events are coordinated in partnership the Health Department’s Safe Routes to School program, with the city of Lawrence, the LiveWell Lawrence coalition, Lawrence Public Schools and the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“What we really want to impart to community members and students is that walking and biking is fun. And it’s easy,” Showalter says. “And the more you do it, the more fun you have and the easier it becomes.”

Showalter encourages parents to reach out to their schools for more information, or to contact him directly at 843-3060 or Schools are also posting Walk to School Day events at


Lawrence Fall Community Bike Ride a Rousing Success!

The weather was beautiful and around 100 riders and volunteers came out September 17th for the Lawrence Fall Community Bike Ride organized by Lawrence Central Rotary.  “We had everyone from novices and kids on training wheels to local professional riders come out,” said Central Rotary Club President Jim Peters, “our club rallies around these events and it’s great to be able to provide a safe and encouraging event for bike riding.

Event chair Steve Lane coordinated volunteers and organized the sponsors from all over Lawrence. “Steve’s organization and prep for this function like a Swiss watch,” said club member Tobin Neis, “we wouldn’t be able to do it without him.

Lawrence / Douglas Country Community Health Planner Charlie Bryan was on hand showing attendees the proposed “Lawrence Loop” bike / multi-use path.  LiveWell Lawrence and partners continue to advocate for finishing this 22-mile loop trail around Lawrence everyone could enjoy.

Exciting for both local Rotarians as well as attendees to see was an assembled ShelterBox which Lawrence Central Rotarians have heavily supported over the years.  A ShelterBox is a simple and effective solution to deliver the essentials people need to survive and begin to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a disaster.

ShelterBoxes are tailored for the particular disaster being responded to, but typically includes a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and children’s activity pack.

Thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers who made this happen!

Lawrence’s Fall Community Bike Ride Scheduled for Sept 17th

The 2016 Lawrence Community Bike Ride on Saturday, September 17th, at the Haskell University stadium parking area and using the Burroughs Creek, and recently refinished bike Trail south of Haskell.

The event is open to anyone and there is no cost to participate.

There will be a three-mile ride along the Burroughs Creek Trail.

Other activities from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. include:

  • A Training Wheel Takeoff. Experts will help children who are ready to take off their training wheels in a safe environment.
  • Bike Rodeo. Kids can practice and improve their riding skills
  • Bike Helmet Fitting and Giveaway. Safe Kids with LMH will help outfit kids with helmets, while supplies last, along with providing cycling safety tips for kids of all ages – and for adults too!
  • Inflatable Bounce House and Slides for the kids!

“One of our goals as a club is to get more and more people discover cycling and an active lifestyle as a fun and healthy activity,” said Steve Lane, a member of Central Rotary Club. “This event is a great opportunity for families and individuals to enjoy cycling in a safe and scenic area on Lawrence’s east side.”

If it is raining September 17th, the ride will be rescheduled for on Sunday, September 18th, at 1PM.

Registration for the event is required and can be done before the event.

Releases will be available at the event or you can download one HERE to fill out ahead of time.

Thanks to all our sponsors and partners who help to make these events happen in Lawrence.

Lawrence Fall Community Bike Ride 2016

Volunteers Needed for Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts

CountingVolunteers are needed to manually count bicycles and pedestrians at several locations across Lawrence, Eudora, and Baldwin City in September. The Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, with the help of volunteers, will be conducting bicycle and pedestrian counts on:

Wednesday, September 7th          10am – 12pm

Thursday, September 8th             5pm – 7pm

Saturday, September 10th            12pm – 2pm

Wednesday, September 14th        10am – 12pm

Thursday, September 15th            5pm – 7pm

Saturday, September 17th            12pm – 2pm

Saturday, September 24th            12pm – 2pm

Rain Dates:

Wednesday, September 21st         10 am – 12 pm

Wednesday, September 21st         5 pm – 7 pm

Volunteers will be taught the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project method created by Alta Planning and Design and the Institute of Transportation Engineers by watching a 4 minute training video.

Data collected on bicycling and walking will assist city and regional leaders in estimating usage and demand for bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The counts will also be used to track the region’s progress on increasing the use of non-motorized transportation, strengthen grant applications to leverage additional federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects, evaluate existing projects, and help determine the location of future investments.

To sign up visit:

Volunteers Needed 2016

Velas to host first annual Women’s Ride Day this weekend

31963The Lawrence-based “sisterhood of cyclists,” Velas will host its first annual Women’s Day Ride this Sunday at Broken Arrow Park, 2800 Louisiana St.

From their website:

We’re not a team or a collective of elite athletes.

We are a sisterhood of cyclists dedicated to sharing our love of riding with women of all ages and abilities.

We’re here to illuminate the joy of cycling and nurture participation through friendship, mutual support and simply being together—on and off the bike.

We’re celebrating these ideals with an organized ride this summer and invite you to join us!

There will be out-and-back 16, 30 and 50 mile routes along Old 59 HWY south of Lawrence, KS, with SAG stops at turn-arounds and support vehicles following.

Ride begins and ends at Broken Arrow Park with first riders off at 7:30am. 50 mile riders must be off by 8:30am. Ride will take place rain or shine. No refunds.

Ride proceeds will be going to the following charities in Lawrence: 100 Good Women, The Willow and The Care Center.


WE WANT YOU TOO! Just because this ride has “women” written all over it does not mean you cannot attend. Please ride with us and show your support!


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