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Walk & Roll Challenge Winner Spotlight: Ella

Here at Safe Routes Utah, one of the best parts of the Walk & Roll Challenge is giving out prizes to kids and parents who walk or roll to school. We love seeing their smiles and knowing they love walking, biking or rolling to school as much as we do. Lauren and her daughter Ella, were one of many we’ve awarded so far this year. 

Lauren and Ella like to bike and ride scooters to get to school each day, and while Lauren was researching a safe route to take on our website, she found the Walk & Roll Challenge. Lauren says, “I was already planning on riding to school as often as possible and thought it would be fun for my daughter and me to track how many days we ride to school this year. I also thought the possibility of winning a prize would be exciting for my daughter. I didn’t think we would actually win anything, though!” 

Well, Ella did win! Lauren and Ella tracked each day that they biked or scooted the 1.9 miles to school and entered at the end of the month. Ella had a greater chance of winning for every entry they put in. Ella’s name was drawn, and a few weeks later, a shiny new scooter and helmet were delivered to her at school. Ella was happy about it, and so were we!

We know it can seem overwhelming to prioritize walking, biking or scooting to school, so we asked Lauren if she had any tips on making it an option. She said, “Preparation is key. I try to get as much as I can ready and set out the night before so we’re not rushing in the morning and don’t run out of time to ride. I also make sure my daughter and I have the gear we need to be comfortable riding in any weather. All of the gear we may need (helmets, gloves, rain or snow pants, coats, masks, etc.) is kept in one place, so we’re not scrambling to find what we need if the weather changes or it’s wetter/warmer/colder than expected. Since my daughter is very young (kindergarten) and can be prone to distraction, I purchased a tandem bike trailer to attach to my bike on days she’s feeling tired or extra distracted, or we’re running a little behind. She still gets to pedal and enjoy riding, but I’m able to control our speed and the number of stops we make along the way.” We think that’s a great idea, especially if you have younger kids. So we had to ask, what about the hard days? How do you find the motivation? Here’s the sound advice Lauren had, “Some days I’m just exhausted and think it would be easier to drive. I’ve found, though, and remind myself that once I get moving, my energy level will pick up quickly. I always feel better (and less stressed) after riding than I do after driving. It’s an instant mood and energy boost.”

Lauren also reminded us of the most important part when she said, “My daughter loves that she gets to ride her bike or scooter before school! It’s one of her favorite activities, so basically, it’s like extra time to play before school. She loves to race me or play imaginative games while we’re riding.”

If you’re looking for a reason to get out more, consider doing it with your kids for the Walk & Roll Challenge. You’ll see benefits beyond winning, but that part is pretty cool, too!