SEATTLE -- As the first rider in her neighborhood bicycle train, Maka Yusuf pedals nearly 4 miles and climbs more than 350 feet on the way to her elementary school. During the trip she is joined by several classmates and a handful of adult volunteers. Just a month ago, those formidable Seattle slopes forced Maka to walk her bike. She easily conquers them today.
And the benefits of students actively transporting themselves to and from school may go well beyond improved fitness, says Dr. Jason Mendoza, the pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital who is behind the bike train, a children's health research project.