by Douglas Abrams
Senior Ari Appel had an idea: to motivate students to bike to school.
To turn his idea into an action, Appel started a program called Bike2School in which every time a student bikes to school, he earns a stamp. When a student acquires five stamps, he earns a five-dollar coupon for George Howell coffee bar in Newtonville.
“My goals for the programs are to increase the number of students who bike to school and, in doing so, to possibly help their health, benefit the environment and make cycling more popular,” he said.
The program began Tuesday, Oct. 8. “On the first day, only two people came, so I really want to focus on growing the program,” Appel said.
In addition, he said, “I asked many businesses but most said ‘no.’ But now that I have one business giving out the coupon the program is more legitimate and will grow.”
Publicizing Bike2School and getting volunteers to give stamps to student-bikers will help the program grow, according to Appel. He said he is also looking for volunteers and that more restaurants will be participating soon.
Appel started Bike2School because he said he wants to share this passion with other students. “I am big on cycling, and I wanted to spread it to other people at Newton North,” he said.
“I have always been a biker. I first started riding during the summer after eighth grade. I rode on and off until sophomore year, when I started to ride consistently,” he said. “I signed up for a cross-country cycling trip and rode from Cannon Beach, Oregon to New Haven, Connecticut during the summer before junior year. I wanted to get into racing when I got back, so I contacted a friend who is linked into the cycling community, and he introduced me to a local cycling club with a junior racing team.”
One student who participates in Bike2School every day is junior Jesse Metzeger.
Metzger said, “I think it’s a great idea–it encourages students to do something that’s healthy both for the environment and for themselves.”