RAPID CITY, S.D. — Many of us rode our bikes to school growing up.
The act is celebrated on May 5 in National Bike to School Day and for Roman Slack, it was just another day in the seat.
“When I wake up, all I have to do is take out my bike and then I just kinda know the routes because I already planned it and I start riding,” Roman said.
Roman’s a freshman at Rapid City Stevens High School and has been biking to school for most of his youth to his nearby elementary and middle schools – not to mention his mountain and gravel biking background.
But a choice to attend Stevens certainly mixed things up.
“Biking all the way across town to Stevens is kind of more unnerving for me as a parent and we do have just sort of a code where he’ll text me and let me know that he made it to school safely,” said Natalie Slack, Roman’s Mother.
He’s had a few close calls with drivers not paying attention, but roman’s past cycling has taught him a few things.
“I always make eye contact first because 90 percent of the time, they’re either on their phone or just looking like back and forth to make the intersection cross,” Roman said.
Roman proved to be ready for the transition to Stevens – putting 3,000 miles on a bike last year which included a trip to the badlands to camp overnight.
Peddling over 120 miles at 14-years old, alone.
“He’s just always been passionate about this, so it wasn’t really a question of could he do it, if he wanted to do it, we were going to support him doing that,” Natalie said.
Depending on the weather, Roman usually rides his bike, with his route being around 13 miles round trip every day, but roman says it’s the ride he needs to begin his day.
“Get your exercise in for the day, it’s just all around just a good way to start your day and live,” Roman said.
Roman and his mother gave a friendly reminder to drivers to keep an eye out for bicyclists in hopes of watching out for everyone that commutes by bicycle.
A mode of transportation – that’s turned into a lifestyle.