From Harford County Government:
(Bel Air, MD) – – The Harford County “Bike to Work Day” on May 21 brings a welcome reminder of the things we can do to live environmentally-conscious. Everyone agrees that riding a bicycle as a means of commuting is one of the easiest ways to help the environment by reducing air pollution through lowered emissions. Not only is riding a bike economical, but it’s an effective way to incorporate daily exercise – a key consideration when obesity rates are on the rise. However, one of the most important, but often the most overlooked elements about bicycling, is that it is just plain fun.
To demonstrate how much fun riding a bicycle can be, for the first time in Harford County history, five area high schools are focusing their interests and creative talents by participating in a Bling my Bike contest. The Bike to Work Day committee contacted all schools to see who wanted to participate – Edgewood, Harford Technical, Patterson Mill, Havre de Grace and North Harford high schools were up to the challenge. “When Bike to Work Day rolls around each year we try to encourage participation from the community at all levels,” says Pat Fielder, Community Resources and Rideshare Coordinator for Harford County’s Commuter Assistance Program. “We invited the county’s high schools to get involved with the Bike to Work Day celebration not only to add another youth element, but to promote creativity and add an air of friendly competition,” Fielder stated.
This contest is designed to encourage young people to consider riding a bicycle as a transportation alternative that is environmentally responsible, cost-effective and a fun way to get around.
“The “Bling’d” bikes will add a different dimension to the annual Bike to Work Day Celebration,” says Fielder. “We want to involve the entire Harford Community as we focus on choosing clean commute options. So for the past month, art classes in these five Harford County schools have been feverishly blinging a bike that was provided to them by the Bike to Work Day Committee and the Harford County’s Sheriff’s Office,” Fielder remarked.
While in process, students at Patterson Mill High School shared this poem with a lot of hints:
Twas a few weeks before BIKE BLINGING deadline, and all through The MILL,
There was LOTS a happenin’; now that’s pretty CHILL.
The bike was all gluey and covered with fur,
We’ve got big plans that OUR BIKE will BARK and not purr.
With our heads packed with ideas, we have nothing to fear,
Imagining Mr. Thibeault proudly riding aside all the cheer.
When out in the art room there arose such a fuss,
We gotta get back to Blinging before we miss our BUS!
We can’t say too much more to reveal our insight,
But just wish to all, “Have a cool RIDE and hope you like our Blinged Bike!”
Havre de Grace High School had their Advanced 3D design class plan their theme and design on a project basis. The students chose school spirit as a theme to demonstrate pride in their community and school. Harford Technical High School’s Bess Carlson says “We are having a blast! We want our principal to ride our entry in the Bike to Work Day parade.”
Judging criteria for the Bling my Bike Contest includes each bike’s ride-ability, the artistic quality, functionality and safety. Students were encouraged to use school colors or mascots and to embellish the bicycle any way they chose. A judging committee comprised of County Executive David R. Craig, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tombeck, Sue Garrett, Director of the Harford County Public Schools Art curriculum, and members of the Bike to Work Day Committee will assess each submission based on these qualities.
The decorated bikes will be on display in the County’s Administration building from May 3 until the day of the Bike to Work Day Rally, May 21. At that time, representatives from each high school will lead the annual Bicycle Parade through downtown Bel Air. The winner of the contest will be announced during the Rally by County Executive David R. Craig; additionally, the high school who wins this contest will receive a $500 award courtesy of Bikefit Solutions, LLC for their school’s art department.
For more information about Bike to Work Day, visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/commuter.