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  • Carlotta Rother

Bike Club: Transforming Commutes and Unleashing Adventure

Bike Club gathers for a group photo on one of their expeditions / Credits: Cy Wuerschmidt

Students pass the bike racks every morning when they walk into school. Whether they notice them or not, the amount of bikes has drastically increased from last year. This is because the School Without Walls Bike Club has been promoting biking to school.

In order to encourage biking, Bike Club has created group chats for different DC neighborhoods so that members can find someone to bike with. Sofia Bui (‘25) said, “These group chats make it easy to find someone, and it is a lot more fun to bike with friends, and a lot safer too.”  

Some students choose to bike to school because it’s simply the most efficient transportation option. Gideon Brosowsky (‘26) said, “I really like biking to school, it is a lot faster than the bus or metro.” Sofia Bui also agreed, and explained, “it is about 25 minutes faster for me on the way there and about 15 minutes faster on the way back. And I’m able to get right to my house, whereas when I metro, I still have to walk home.” 

Cyclists ride rain or shine. “I’ve biked to school everyday for the past 7 years. When it’s cold I have a jacket and when it rains I have a rain jacket,” said club sponsor Jesse Koplowitz. However, not all cyclists bike to school daily. Sofia Bui commented, “when it rains I just take the Metro, I’m not that crazy! Also, since I don’t have a rain jacket to protect my computer, it is just the better option.”  

There are many School Without Walls teachers who bike to school regularly. “Biking to school is a great way to start your day, you can exercise,” P.E. teacher Cory Matthews said, “and it boosts your energy for the rest of the day, I definitely recommend it!” Math teacher Gabriel Webster also agrees that biking is “a great way to end your day, as it is relaxing after a hard day at work.”

While biking to school, planning ahead is essential. Riley Gayle (‘25) said, “once you bike to school, you are practically forced to bike back,” even if it starts raining.  

The Bike Club previously existed at Walls before the pandemic, but its activities were suspended when school went virtual. The president, Maia Riggs (‘25), restarted Bike Club when students returned to school. She said, “I’ve always had a passion for biking and I wanted to share it with the wider Walls community.” She also mentioned that she thinks “biking is such an incredible way to commute that is better for not only the environment, but your own physical and mental health. Plus, it is really fun when you can do it with friends!” 

The club leaders are aware that for some people it is not possible to bike all of the time. “We go on weekend bike rides and have done field trips in the past, and hope to go on more,” said Riggs. 

Last spring, around 25 students attended a biking field trip. The students met in front of the school and from there biked down to Georgetown and continued along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail.

Rafi Fox (‘25) said, “I had a great time, and it was a great way to get outside with other bikers and friends.” Mr. Koplowitz agreed, saying, “I had a lot of fun seeing students appreciate the outdoors, I hope we can continue these field trips.”

Gideon Brosowsky (‘26) added, “I really loved the trip. I thought it was a little short, so I’m hoping this spring we will do some longer trails.” The Bike Club has a goal of biking to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia along the C&O Canal and camping there for the night and then returning. This would be about 120 miles roundtrip.

Riggs acknowledged that, “an overnight trip would definitely take a lot of logistics and planning.” Regardless, she remains optimistic that with the right group, Bike Club can make the trip happen.

Bike Club understands that not everyone owns a bike, or even knows how to ride a bike, so they are committed to teaching people more about biking. During an advisory period last month, the Bike Club had their first workshop where members got to learn about how to fix their bikes. On field day, members brought their bikes down to the field and taught students how to bike. 

Bike Club meets on Friday mornings at 8:40 in Room 227.

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