Decatur hosts first “Biketober”


SGA members Aly Yamamoto, Jasmine Barnes, MK Moore, Sophia Norton, Ellie Arnold, Evan Kupersmith, Bruno Lanzieri, Ewan Pritchard and Carmen Hardwick helped to organize the event.

Decatur SGA members awarded students who walked or biked to school this morning.

The event, advertised as “Biketober” was planned in collaboration with the Decatur High School SGA and Georgia Commute Options, a subprogram of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

33  bikers and around 375 walkers were estimated to partake this morning.

SGA members like Sophomore Co-Class President Evan Kupersmith worked on planning the event for over a month.

“Our biggest challenge was probably getting the word out. In our school, we have to get fliers signed off on to put them out in the hallways,” he said. “We didn’t really have time to do that. So, we just put them up in classrooms. There were a lot of processes that we had to go through to get the word out about the event.”

The incentives were funded by the Atlanta Regional Commision and gift cards were provided by Chick-fil-a and Marcos.

Georgia Commute Options’ School Program Coordinator, Nichole Hollis, approached Decatur and its SGA because of Decatur’s accessibility.

“Decatur is such a bikeable and walkable area, it makes sense to have a walking and biking initiative at this school,” Hollis said.

Hollis had worked with Decatur’s Safe Routes to School program in the past and believes that these initiatives make an impact on the community’s long commutes.

“Atlanta is ranked number eight in the world for the worst traffic. Alone, our traffic here in the city is at an all-time high. So, we use these activities as a way to reduce traffic and to improve our air quality here in Atlanta,” Hollis said.

Sophomore SGA members stood behind tables full of “incentives” for the walkers and bikers. Some incentives were water bottles, pencils, bracelets, candies and headphones. The first twenty bikers were given gift cards to Chick-Fil-A and Marcos, whose local restaurants also sponsored the event.  

Decatur’s Biketober came at the end of the Atlanta Bike Challenge, a challenge created by Georgia Commute Options.

“We have a month-long challenge called the Atlanta Bike Challenge where we provide incentives to people who bike to and from work. So, we thought it would be really cool to have the students involved from biking to and from school,” Hollis said.  

Participants of Biketober like sophomore Daniel Orta bike to school daily, but the rewards were a nice surprise regardless.

“I think it’s important to hype people up and there is more school spirit and more walking and biking,” Orta said.

Next year, the SGA and Hollis hope to put on another Biketober event.

“We already have started talking about doing another activity once this one is over,” Hollis said.