By Joshua Hopper
For The Catholic Messenger
BURLINGTON — Pope Francis encourages us to be good stewards of the earth. That is exactly what the Notre Dame Bike Club aims to do in the fall and spring seasons of each school year, promoting healthy activity and energy conservation.
This is the bike club’s third year in existence. The idea came to moderator, Jon Riffel, a fifth-grade teacher at Notre Dame Catholic School, while he was serving as an assistant basketball coach. “The high school students seemed impressed that I rode bicycles, so I spoke with the PE teacher, Aaron Skopec, about the concept and we started the bike club in the spring of 2017.”
The bike club was very popular with students from the elementary and middle schools. On an average ride the students cover around five miles.
The bike club is an after school activity. “It’s a great opportunity for the students who aren’t involved in sports to get exercise. And even for those who are in sports, there’s enough flexibility that they can be involved in both,” Riffel said.
Before every ride, the students gather at a statue of Mary in front of the school to pray, thanking God for the gift of being able to ride and asking for safety in their travels.
(Joshua Hopper is the director of bands and editor of the Wednesday Warrior newsletter at Notre Dame Catholic School in Burlington.