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  • Writer's pictureSheila Islam

New Year’s Resolution: Walk and Roll More with Safe Routes to School

Updated: Apr 16

It’s a new year and an excellent time to develop a healthy habit or add more movement to your week. And the Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) Program has the perfect incentive: the Golden Sneaker Contest.

What is the Golden Sneaker Contest?

The Golden Sneaker Contest is a two-week challenge from March 4-15, 2024. Classrooms in participating Alameda County schools compete against each other to see who can walk, bike, skate, roll, take transit, or carpool the most. Register by February 2 to join the fun and put your classroom in the running for the coveted Golden Sneaker Award!

The contest doesn’t start until March, but now is the perfect time to incorporate more shared and active transportation into your school commute.

3 tips to bike, walk, and roll more in 2024

You can be more active as an individual, but it can be even more fun to get out together as a family. Here are five ways families can roll together this year.

  1. Join a bike train or walking school bus. Biking or walking to school with a group creates safety in numbers and gives students physical activity and social time on the way to school. Riding with a bike train, led by parents, helps young people learn how to ride safely. Young students can safely join a walking bus, with adult supervision. And it’s fun! If there isn’t a group rolling or walking in your neighborhood, consider starting one. If you want help starting a bike train or walking school bus in Alameda County, please contact the TransForm SR2S team. Helpful tip: Remember that a bike bus or walking bus doesn’t have to run every school day. Scheduling it once or twice a month/week gives students something to look forward to and helps build healthy habits.

  2. With a little bit of rain gear, walking or biking on wet days can be fun. It’s tempting to want to drive on a rainy day, but bad weather doesn’t have to be a deterrent to walking or rolling to school. It can be refreshing to walk in the rain. What smells, sights, and sounds can you notice that happen only when it’s raining? With the right rain gear, you can have a fun walk and get to school dry. Helpful tip: Rain gear doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. A rain poncho is an excellent choice because you can layer under it for warmth, and it can protect a backpack, too. Add a pair of rain boots, and you’re ready for a delightful rainy day walk!

  3. Plan ahead. Check the weather forecast for the week and plan how you’ll get to school. Weather doesn’t have to be a deterrent (see tip 2), but getting out in the rain doesn’t work for everyone. If the weather looks soggy and you can’t walk, consider carpooling with another family or taking the bus. A little forethought and a commitment to choosing shared or active mobility can help you keep the school commute fun. Helpful tip: Check out bus routes and schedules. You might be surprised at how easy it is to take AC Transit to school.

It takes about two weeks to cement a new habit. If you can replace some or all of your car trips with active or shared transportation for two weeks, chances are you’ll want to keep walking and rolling. The Golden Sneaker Contest can help with that, but you can get a head start now, so you’re ready for the competition in March.

For more tips on how to stay safe and enjoy your commute to school, the SR2S website has a list of helpful resources. If you have questions, the SR2S team is always happy to help. Feel free to reach out at


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