Tenafly Student Encourages Peers to Bike to School

Meet Attila Yaman—a Tenafly High School senior on a very important mission to make bicycling a more viable way for students to commute to school. Having spent part of his youth in the Netherlands where bicycling is a fundamental part of life, Yaman sees cycling very differently than most of his peers. "Once you start doing it as a regular practice,” he said, “it becomes such a commonplace thing that can really change people’s lives.”

In an effort to bring attention to bicycling in Tenafly, Yaman took the initiative and organized Tenafly High School’s first-ever BikeFest—which took place on May 23rd. Nearly forty Tenafly students participated in the event, riding their bikes to school and displaying their bikes in the school’s library. Yaman said of the display, “We thought that making a visual statement like this shows people that people do bike and that it can become something popular in Tenafly.”

There are many reasons why choosing to travel by bike is such a good idea. Yaman is particularly interested in how cycling promotes a healthy, active lifestyle that many kids these days are lacking. "Physical exercise, getting the blood flowing, can really make a difference in your day," he said. 

Of course, there are environmental implications for bike riding. Sophomore Molly Aronson, a friend of Yaman’s, pointed out that while everyone seems to be talking about the need to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint, no one seems to know how to incorporate environmentally-sound practices into their daily lives. "Riding,” she said, “is a concrete way people can make a difference."

BikeFest is just one facet of Yaman’s efforts to encourage biking in Tenafly. He also created “Tenabike,” an organization that uses Facebook and Twitter to get students informed and excited about bicycling. Yaman hopes that if enough students show interest, there will soon be a bike rack and shed for students to store their bikes at school. With students like Aronson taking up the cause that Yaman started, it’s safe to say that his hopes for a strong biking culture in Tenafly will likely be realized.