Category: Inspiring (page 1 of 6)

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


Summer 2016 Community Bike Ride Recap

There were concerns the Wednesday before, but the weather worked out and it was a beautiful day for a bike ride.  Just under 200 people (with volunteers) came out to the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum to enjoy a beautiful July morning to ride bikes.

Thanks to Central Rotary member Lynn O’Neal and to local bike enthusiast and photographer Eddie Davalos for all the awesome pictures!

Thanks to all our sponsors and everyone who came out.  And be sure to save the date on your fall calendar for our fall Ride on the Burroghs Creek Trail September 17th. (More info Coming soon)

What are you doing for Bike Month?

bike-month-2016May is designated as National Bike month each year.  Several community organizations in the Be Active Safe Routes community partnership are working with the city to encourage everyone to get out and bike around town this month (and every month). Here are some ways to get out and celebrate Bike Month:

  • National Bike to Work Week is May 16-20. Try bicycling to work and encourage your co-workers to do the same.
  • Lawrence is participating in the National Bike Challenge – a nationwide event to unite thousands of current bicyclists and encourage new riders. Sign up at to join the challenge to track your miles or sign up a team to compete with your friends, family or co-workers.
  • Take a ride with the City Commissioners on Tuesday, May 17.  Meet at City Hall at 4:30 to take a quick ride around town to celebrate National Bike Month.
  • Take the Confident, Capable Commuters Class through Lawrence Parks and Recreation. Learn how to ride safely in traffic, basic bike maintenance and much more.  Contact or call (785) 832-7950 for more information and class times.
  • Sign up for the week-long Youth Cycling Camp through Lawrence Parks and Recreation in June.
  • The Lawrence Public Library’s Summer Reading program is encouraging people to participate in Bike Middle Earth – a fun way to combine your love of reading with staying healthy.  Find out details on the program at and log your miles to Middle Earth.
  • Tune up your bike at a free bike stand around Lawrence. There are four locations now with five more planned soon.
  • Track your routes ahead of time by using the city’s online Bicycle Rideability Map or pick one up at City Hall, KU Parking and Transit, Cycleworks, Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop or Ambler Student Recreation Center.
  • Take your bike on the bus – by combining transit and bicycling, you can get farther in Lawrence without using your personal car and saving that gas money for something else.

Thanks for Coming Out To The Fall Community Bike Ride

September-CBR-Flyer-2015-TYThe rain finished the night before, there was a sigh of relief when we could see the final rays of sun through the clearing skies to the west on Friday night.

Our latest ride held Saturday September 19th starting in the Haskell Indian Nations University stadium parking lot delighted more than 100 guests riding along the Burroughs Creek Trail. Members of Lawrence Central Rotary with the help of our sponsors and though applying for grants and fundraisers were able to hand out all of the 80 bright neon safety vests we purchased and fitted 42 brand new helmets (mostly to children) to keep them safe while riding their bike not just that day but for many days, weeks, and months to come.

But, that just speaks to the numbers. Everyone who attended had a great morning and the participants had fun… and that is the key thing. People having fun, being active, using their bikes, possibly seeing new trails, and meeting new friends along the way.

We look forward to seeing even more people again next summer for more Lawrence Community Bike rides!

It’s Time of Year: The Tour of Lawrence Needs You!

Uncle-SamWe got this email from our pal Bob Sanner at the tour to make a shout out for help.. Please sign up – it’s a great time and pretty amazing to see these racers in action!

“It’s hard to  believe that the Tour of Lawrence is entering its seventh year. This year’s ToL will include the same format with one change: the campus race will be held on the campus of Haskell Indian Nations University. Haskell has graciously agreed to close its campus for the Tour of Lawrence.

The popularity and success of the Tour results in large part from the volunteers who make it all possible. Would you consider being part of the year’s ToL? The dates are June 26-28. I can promise you a cool T-shirt, plenty of food (thanks to Free State and Ingredient) and drink. The safety vest and whistle aren’t bad either. Please follow the link and consider being part of the tour again.”

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