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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Women bicycling across US for Safe Routes to School [FastLane DOT]


The journey from Key West to San Francisco takes about 6 hours by plane, or 3 days by car.  Jane Ward, Jeanie and Chelsea Ward-Waller, and Stephanie Palmer are completing the trek of more than 5,000 miles in a little less than 3 months--on their bicycles.
At the National Bike Summit last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Jane's husband and Jeanie and Chelsea's father, Stephen Waller.  Stephen told me about the inspiring journey that these four women embarked upon to support the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
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Jeanie, an avid cyclist and triathlete, first came up with the idea to ride across the country. "I wanted to bike across the country for a cause that I really cared about," she says.
An environmental science teacher in West Virginia, Jeanie decided to take a semester off and make this dream a reality.  She planned a 5,500 mile route through 13 states and 20 major cities to raise $25,000 and create awareness for the League of American Bicyclists and Safe Routes to School.
Both Jeanie and Jane rode their bikes to school as children. "Active commuting, starting early in childhood can become a lifelong habit," Jane says. "Children who exercise on the way to school and during the school day, do better in school."

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