Students Get Lesson in Health, Cycling Safety on National Bike to School Day

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ELK GROVE-

Sidewalks across the region were a little more crowded Wednesday morning because of National Bike to School Day.

About 100 students showed up at Pedersen Park in Elk Grove ready to pedal their way to class with a police escort, parents and their principal keeping a close eye on them.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about health and cycling safety.

"It's fun because you get to get your energy out and you get to talk to your friends before you go into class," student Katelyn Chavez said.

"I like biking because you get good exercise," said Annabell Pacheco, another student.

Principal of Foulks Ranch Elementary School Mary Beth Kropp said having students bike to school every day would alleviate a lot of traffic and would help get children to class on time.

"We try to plan something physical for our kids in the morning anyway, so this is," Kropp said. "We know that that has great success and this will just add to that."

Elk Grove Police Officer Terrance Washington also touted the benefits of riding bikes.

"Getting up in the morning, getting your heart going, blood pumping, muscles loose -- kids are more attentive, they are awake when they get to school, they are happier, their endorphins are released," he said.

Police are encouraging parents to make sure their kids know the rules of the road and are wearing helmets at all times.