Especially in the Arizona summer months, the heat can possibly dissuade anyone from outdoor activity. But some would argue that it is the most important time to push oneself to do physical activity because of that potential for excuses and lethargy. Having the excuse of “it’s too hot” is definitely relevant when temperatures reach triple digits for weeks straight, but residents should be conscious of a time in Arizona that is conducive to laziness.

The city of Phoenix operates one program that encourages students across the city to appreciate a more physical form of transportation — riding their bike.

On Thursday morning, more than 100 students from Kyrene de la Sierra Elementary School met up at 7 a.m. to ride together to their campus. The program is called Bike to School and Sierra was one of two Kyrene schools to participate. Family joined the students on the ride, which was also accompanied by a police escort.

“Ahwatukee has a history of being a strong biking community and we were pleased to be selected as one of two Kyrene schools to participate in this city of Phoenix sponsored event,” said Tracey Pastor, principal at Sierra. “Our numerous walking and biking students and families are starting their day with just the right amount of exercise while at the same time reducing the number of cars on the road.”

The Sierra biking event was part of a city-wide initiative with school rides happening April 23-May 11, coinciding with National Bike Month.

Safety was a high priority for everyone involved, Pastor said, which included help from the city of Phoenix.

“I was also pleasantly surprised to see the large number of students that put safety first and had their helmets on,” Pastor said. “The city of Phoenix provided helmets free of charge to those students that were without or had a broken helmet that needed to be replaced.”

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