Schoolchildren in Washington, D.C., get ready to bike to school early Wednesday morning. Photo by Audrey Pernik/APHA.

Thousands of helmet-clad schoolchildren from across the U.S. hopped on their bicycles this morning for National Bike to School Day. Today marks the second annual observance that celebrates safe, healthy routes to school. In Washington, D.C., parents joined their kids at Lincoln Park for an international themed send-off event.

This year, more than 1,300 schools have registered to take part in Bike to School Day, nearly twice the number of registrants from last year.

“The success of the second annual National Bike to School Day illustrates just how many communities understand the importance of providing students with safe, healthy and active options for their trip to school,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “At DOT, we’re helping communities do just that by supporting livable neighborhoods, building new bike paths, and opening up more bike share programs.”

National Bike to School Day is a part of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month and the United Nations Global Road Safety Week—two global campaigns also working to improve pedestrian safety for young people.

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