R.D. White Elementary students pedal to class

There was hardly any space left for students to park their bikes at R.D. White Elementary Wednesday morning after dozens peddled to school as part of the nationally recognized Bike to School Day.

The event came less than a week after 13-year-old Jonathan Hernandez, a student at Roosevelt Middle School, died after he was struck by a school bus while riding his bicycle.

Still, the organizers of "Bike to School Day" remained committed to hosting the event to encourage students to ride their bikes to school, reinforce safety tips and promote exercise.

Students at Jefferson and Columbus elementaries will bike to school later this month as part of the same program.

In Glendale, an average of 100 pedestrians and 50 bicyclists are struck by vehicles each year, resulting in injuries and fatalities, according to the city.

Kara Sergile, one of the event's organizers, has promoted the district's "Walk to School Day" for years under the district's Safe Routes to School program. She led a pack of students by riding her bike to R.D. White.

But before students rode together, Sergile reviewed some safety tips.

Nathalie Winiarski, an avid biker and member of Walk Bike Glendale, checked that bike helmets were properly secured and said she hopes that students continue riding their bikes to school.

"We want to see that it happens all the time," Winiarski said. "Not just on one day."

As a flight attendant years ago, Winiarski took to riding bikes all over the world during layovers when she didn't have access to a car.

"Learning the basic rules of the road is absolutely instrumental. That can so easily save their lives," she said.

After the bicyclists arrived at R.D. White and parked their bikes, Sergile counted 21 of them at a single rack, and called the day a success.

"Normally, there are just two or three bikes," she said.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World