ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — If you were driving to work Wednesday morning you may have seen a lot of kids in your neighborhood riding their bikes to school. That’s because it’s the international bike to the school day.

Dozens of students at Ritchie Park Elementary in Rockville, Maryland arrived at school with a different set of wheels.

“I like riding with my family, I don’t bike to school often so it’s just nice to have that experience to just do it,” said student Mia Weston.

Student Samantha Magnotta said she had a hard time but she enjoyed the experience.

“Usually I ride in a car but this time I had to bike over the hills and it was kind of challenging,” said Magnotta.

Pam Wood is the parent of two students at Ritchie Park, she says she bikes to school with her kids often, but seeing so many more students participate in Bike To School Day she’s excited.

“[It’s] very important, I think that’s part of a healthy lifestyle and a strong community,” said Wood.

Principal Andrew Winter and several teachers participated too.

“It was great. We went out to pick up the kids from falls grove, unfortunately not too many because of the weather but I went out with a couple of my teachers and we had a nice time. We biked in and went back to a couple of neighborhoods to bike with so more kids,” said Winter.

Bike to School Day was hosted in partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.
Leaders with MCDOT say there are several benefits to biking to school.

“Biking can increase academic performance, it makes you be more healthy it decreases obesity and it’s known to improve academic performance,” said Duwan Morris, Transportation Planning Specialist with MCDOT.

Students also learned more about road safety.

“We’re giving them safety tips on how to bike safely in the school and we’re giving stickers. Encouragings kids to wear bike helmets as they need to when they arrive and giving them devises to help them be seen when they’re out on the road,” said Chris Conklin, Director for MCDOT.

Just across the state line in Washington D.C. students had their own Bike and Roll day.

In a speech, Mayor Muriel Bowser encouraged parents, and teachers to do this more often.

“Starting early with our children to teach them about biking and walking, and advocating for safer streets for all of us is so important,” said