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Mount Vernon Bike-A-Thon Raises Obesity Awareness

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon residents took to the streets on bicycles for the city's first annual Bike-A-Thon to raise awareness of childhood obesity.

Approximately 60 people rode a loop that started at Maggie Spillanes's Gramatan Avenue to Sidney Avenue up to Westchester Avenue and back. Council President Roberta Apuzzo said she got the idea for the Bike-A-Thon after seeing so many people on bicycles during a festival in the city earlier this year.

"This is a good, healthy exercise that raises awareness about being physically fit," Apuzzo said. "We're happy we had a beautiful day. This event really brought people together and we're planning on doing it again, which will include a tour of historical homes in the city."

Resident Michelle Lopez rode with her two daughters. Lopez said they participated to fight childhood obesity.

"We don't have enough activities in the city and bicycling is for all ages so we can do it as a family," Lopez said. "We saw a very diverse group out here today. I hope the city adds bike lanes soon so we can do more."

Council member Richard Thomas proposed bicycle lanes during the last City Council meeting. Thomas said the Bike-A-Thon is meant to show residents how Mount Vernon is convenient for "20-minute living" – meaning residents can get all their errands done in 20 minutes.

"We're hoping to add more community events in the future," Thomas said.

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