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May is one of the most beautiful months of the year, making it perfect for outdoor activities. The month of May is nationally recognized as Bike Month. Consider getting outdoors with your family or friends and riding your bicycle along Cape Girardeau’s beautiful trails and bike lanes!
“The simple practice of getting outside on a bike is something that extends far beyond the walls of my gymnasium and far beyond childrens’ elementary school years,” said Clippard Elementary School physical education instructor Darreen Neels. “I can’t emphasize enough how important these kind of experiences are for a child to begin forging lifelong habits of health and wellness.”
After last year’s event being so successful, Cape Girardeau is celebrating fitness again by participating in Bike to Work and School Day on May 6. In our area, the community and schools are using this day as a chance to change the culture of our community and create different, healthier options to get to our destinations.
Neels was one of the organizers of the Bike to Work and School Day event last year. Working as an elementary teacher, Neels knows a lot about the fitness of our children. He discussed how the Center for Disease Control now recommends at least one hour or more of physical activity every day. That can be tough, especially since schools require students to sit at desks most of the day.
“We’ve had to reach beyond the regular school hours to find ways to get them moving before and after school using events like Bike to School Day to promote an active lifestyle,” said Neels.
But that’s not all; Bike to Work and School Day also builds our community. Different businesses, organizations and community members come out to this event and join in the effort to promote and live healthier lives.
This year’s event starts at 6:15 a.m. on May 6 at the Osage Centre, where participants are able to ride together around an exciting course, dance to Zumba, and also check out bike companies and vendors from around town. Participants will also receive free t-shirts and breakfast.
“It’s truly a community event that combines the Parks and Recreation department, Cape Police Department, and our local schools, all coming together and celebrating something really important,” said Neels.
Staying healthy, learning to be healthy, and living a healthy life is something that we can all do together as a community. This event is the perfect starting tool to change our community for the better. We hope to see you for Bike to Work and School Day!