Bike It! Day, an event encouraging the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District community to cycle, bus, scooter, skateboard or walk to school, will return Wednesday, June 1.

The Santa Monica High School Solar Alliance started Bike It Day three years ago in an effort to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. The event has since expanded beyond Samohi to numerous schools within the district, according to the alliance.

On Bike It Day, SSA challenges the students of the Santa Monica-Malibu school district to “leave the car at home,” and seek other methods of transportation to and from school.

Alliance members said the initiative has grown from 100 participants at the high school in its first year to 3,300 participants across the whole district, representing more than 30 percent of the total enrollment. Of that number, 700 students biked to school.

Since Bike It Day’s inception, the number of people who bike to school every day has increased to the point where the schools need more bike racks to accommodate the large numbers, according to the alliance. Upwards of 120 people currently bike every day to school, the group said.

An alliance spokesperson said Bike It Day has helped bring together all the schools, parents, students, administration, and local businesses in an effort to combat global warming, one bike at a time.

“Bike It Day is a very special celebration because it is one of the few environmental events at Samohi where everyone comes together for a common cause,” said sophomore Chelsea Brandwein, an active member of SSA. “Even school administrators participate, ditching their formal uniforms for a day to don bike shorts. Bike It Day is inspiring – it reminds us not to take Mother Earth for granted.”

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