RICHMOND (AP) -- State transportation officials are encouraging students in Virginia and North Carolina to ride their bicycles to school.

Schools, public health groups, parents and communities have organized group rides and other activities Wednesday on International Bike to School Day.

At least 65 schools in Virginia are registered to participate, including ones in Chesapeake, Norfolk.

37 schools in North Carolina are taking part as well, including Nags Head and Southern Pines.

The Virginia Department of Transportation manages the statewide Safe Routes to School program. Since 2007, the agency has awarded more than $21 million in funding to communities for Safe Routes to School activities.

National Bike to School Day is coordinated by the National Center for Safe Routes to School as part of National Bike Month, which is led by the League of American Bicyclists.

AP-WF-05-06-14 0709GMT

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