Are you in the right lane?
Get inspired by Pillsbury Elementary Students and get in the bike lane!
By MAYA PARK
Asian Media Access
MINNEAPOLIS (June 11, 2015) — I had a chance to meet with some of the students from the Pedal Power program at Pillsbury Elementary, who made this 28-mile trek on their bikes from Minneapolis to Stillwater. Here it is, directly from the mouths of babes…
How did this trip to Stillwater come about?
Yusra: There was this competition called HYPE, and the point was to have a good reason to (build youth leadership), and so we started thinking about what we could do. Then we came up with the idea to bike to Wisconsin! Then afterwards, a bunch of junior coaches and other students prepared speeches, and we won!
Mark and the students explained they average about 5-15 miles a week on their bikes during the day, and in the after-school program every Monday/Wednesday they bike about 10-15 miles. Junior coaches assist the new students. Physically, they seemed well prepared.
Who and what are the junior coaches?
Yusra: Junior Coaches are mostly the 5th graders, but we have one 4th grader because of her experience. Her name is Haley. The coaches are Salma, me, David, Alicia, Fernando, Haley, and Pablo.
Edwin: Our job is to remind the new people of the rules and biking etiquette. We get in a straight line, no overlapping. If the other person is going too slow, you say “on your left,” and then they know you’re going to pass them.
Alicia: We train extra days, and then after that the new kids come, we tell them what to do and teach the rules with ABC checks.
What are ABC checks?
Edwin: ABC check is basically air, brakes, and chain…
Yusra: The teachers always tell us to check the tires for air. Miss Tuck is usually the one to tell us to check the air in our tires, and we checked her tire the day before the trip and her tire was flat!
How else do you prepare for a trip like this?
Salma and Yusra buying groceries for the bike trip to Stillwater.
Mark: Yusra and Salma did all of the shopping. I just paid for it.
Yusra: It was good that we knew what the students would like. We had watermelon, grapes, raspberries, granola bars, pomegranate, and in the end we got candy!
Edwin: We don’t ever leave anyone behind. If someone is behind, the caboose can’t go. If someone gets hurt, the caboose and the teachers stop to help. If someone’s chain falls off, Manuel is our team mechanic, and Jorge is the alternate. Salma is pretty good too.
Can you tell me about the trip?
Manuel: It was fun! We took a lot of stops, and when we got there we went to a restaurant. Since we went to Wisconsin, now I know I can go even farther!
Safia: It was easier than I thought. I thought it was going to be hard. Going up hills was the hardest part. Going down the hills was the best!
Zahur: It was pretty easy. I think it was because of the stops. Like the first stop was for food. We didn’t have to fix the chains or anything. The first part was the hardest, but then it got easier.
David: It was fun, because we rode a lot and there were stops along the way so there was time to just hang out. My favorite was the part when I got to lead the group into Stillwater.
Edwin: When we got there I remember we saw boats. I remember the bridge and when the cars came the bridge went up. I saw this cool car. I saw some people fishing, when we crossed the border I saw some people fishing. We crossed the Wisconsin boarder.
Alicia: I liked going up the hills
David/Edwin: We like to race up the hills to see who will get there first.
David: She’s basically competitive, so she makes us all competitive.
Haley: When we got to Stillwater there was like a sign that said Pillsbury. I was a little surprised. It felt good.
The sign, Mark informed me, was made by the Stillwater HS Mountain Bike Team who had heard about the group from Minneapolis and wanted to support the kids. After four hours and 28 miles, the kids celebrated their amazing feat at Brine’s restaurant in Stillwater, where they had lasagna, salad, fresh fruit, and bread sticks.
David: I don’t like lasagna so I ate salad, and the bread sticks. They were huge!
Edwin: They (breadsticks) were good though! And there was this bike hanging in there. It was really old.
Mark: I researched when we got back. Remember when we went to the bike museum, and that guy with the long hair? He said it was from 1898.
How did it feel to have done something like this?
Alicia: I felt good when we finished. I felt like it wasn’t even that long, so it wasn’t really that hard. It makes me more confident in myself.
Yusra: It gave me more confidence, because at first I didn’t think I could do it, but then once I did it, it felt easier.
Tired and full, the students headed home on a bus, with the best bus driver ever! When he discovered the trailer was too small to hold all of the bikes, his response was to simply put the overflow on the bus. When the students boarded, he asked them what radio station they would like to listen to. The students spent the ride home singing songs.
I asked them would they do it again?
A great spirit, a great trip for our young bikers. Watch for such GREEN MOMENT this summer everywhere in Minneapolis!!!
In the United States, nearly one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) adults are obese, according to the Journal of American Medicine. It cost $147 billion dollars in 2008 to treat obesity. In 2012, the American Diabetes Association reported 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population had diabetes. The total cost to treat diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion dollars.
As we can see from the statistics surrounding obesity and diabetes, Americans are struggling to live a healthy lifestyle. This means there are over 106 million stories to be told from different perspectives. Tales from the Garden is a monthly column featuring the experiences of those here in Minnesota seeking to live a healthy lifestyle, the barriers that exist, and how they are managing their HEALTH STATUS.
If you or someone you know is currently coping with either obesity or diabetes through alternative medicine, active living of exercise and diet, or simply seeking to live a holistic healthy lifestyle, and would like to share your story, please contact Maya Park at Asian Media Access at [email protected], or 612-376-7715.
THIS PROJECT IS SUPPORTED BY ASIAN MEDIA ACCESS’ BICULTURAL ACTIVE LIVING LIFESTYLE (B.A.L.L.) EQUITY CAMPAIGN, FUNDING SUPPORTED BY CDC’S REACH (RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY HEALTH) INITIATIVE