Bronx Lab Students Embark on Underground Railroad Bicycle Adventure On August 1, eight high school students begin a real world exploration of history and health in Ohio-
Missoula, Montana —This summer, eight Bronx Lab students will cycle a 240-mile stretch of the Und
Missoula, Montana —This summer, eight Bronx Lab students will cycle a 240-mile stretch of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route in Ohio. The Bronx Lab Underground Railroad Riders are part of the school's unique, real-world-as-classroom initiative, "Health and History: Biking the Underground Railroad," aimed at marrying healthy living habits with learning history. The group's route and itinerary were developed with the Adventure Cycling Association. Adventure Cycling tour leader, Chuck Harmon, will head up the innovative bicycle adventure on the ground.
"This trip is an excellent opportunity to introduce Bronx Lab students to the joy and beauty of the physical activity of bicycling and to provide them with a tangible window into our nation's past," says Sarah Eustis, director of programs and partnerships at Bronx Lab.
During their nine-day Ohio tour, students will visit Underground Railroad landmarks such as the Rankin House in Ripley, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, and the Oberlin Cultural Center, while pedaling their way to improved fitness.
Ginny Sullivan, new routes coordinator for Adventure Cycling, adds, "This group perfectly embodies our vision for the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, uniting curiousity and exploration with a truly human powered journey. We hope that the physical experience of riding the route, combined with historical exploration, might be able to give riders a small sense of what it must have been like for freedomseekers as they fled north."
The eight students competed for their tour spots by participating in a rigorous application process within the school and all of them have had to maintain outstanding behavior and academic performance during their preparation for the trip. Students have prepared by attending classes on the history of the Underground Railroad, biking, and bicycle maintenance, as well as participating in physical training, including long, weekend rides.
The Bronx Lab group also utilized Adventure Cycling's publication, Pedal Pioneers: A Guide to Bicycle Travel with Kids, in planning their adventure. Eustis says, "Every page of my guide has been poured over, most are dog-eared and highlighted, and many have been photocopied for student, parent, or colleague reference. I call it our ‘Bike Trip Survival Guide' and cannot imagine taking on such an awesome responsibility without the guide at my side."
Jamis Bicycles ® donated bicycles to the students for the trip. During the tour, the group will camp and stay at area universities.
Bronx Lab School staff and students are available for comment and interviews. Please contact Sarah Eustis at 718-696-3700, ext 4057 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Bronx Lab Underground Railroad Riders and their August bicycle adventure, visit: http://www.blurr.us. For more information about Bronx Lab School, visit: http://www.edline.net/pages/Bronx_Lab_School.
For more information about the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, visit: http://www.adventurecycling.org/ugrr.
ABOUT ADVENTURE CYCLING
Adventure Cycling Association is the premier bicycle travel organization in North America with over 44,000 members. A nonprofit organization, its mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. It produces routes and maps for cycling in North America, organizes more than 40 tours annually, and publishes the best bicycle travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine and The Cyclists' Yellow Pages. With 38,158 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike travel adventures. Contact the office at (800) 755-BIKE (2453), email@example.com, or visit www.adventurecycling.org.
ABOUT THE BRONX LAB SCHOOL
The Bronx Lab School is a small, public high school in New York City. The mission of the school is to provide a rigorous academic program designed to prepare students for college and life. Bronx Lab students engage in meaningful and contextual academic work, participate in a nurturing community, explore their passions, and learn to value effort as a means to success.
A critical aspect of Bronx Lab's mission is to provide constructive and challenging learning environments, and to expand students' breadth of experience through various after-school and summer programs. Bronx Lab programs include backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail as part of the incoming student orientation process, programs in environmental studies, fine arts, community service opportunities, and overseas summer travel. Past trips have included post-Katrina rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, cultural/environmental trips to Ecuador and Shanghai, China, and trail maintenance in partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club of New York/New Jersey.
With the generous support and partnership of F.E.G.S Health and Human Services, Bronx Lab also currently offers over a dozen after school programs. Classes include martial arts, healthy cooking, knitting, academic decathlon, an outdoor club, circus (in partnership with the Big Apple Circus of New York), urban dance, Latin dance, jazz band, and drama. Bronx Lab has partnerships with the Hotchkiss School, the Lawrenceville School, the Appalachian Mountain Club's Youth Opportunities Program and the Sierra Club's Building Bridges campaign.