SARTELL - A man in the middle of a 4,200 mile solo bike ride across America took time to visit with Sartell Elementary-schoolers today.

California native Chris Figureida is a professional bicyclist, advocate for the American Heart Association and man on a mission to promote the importance of healthy, active lifestyles.

Figureida says kids are becoming increasingly unhealthy and overweight, something that can be mitigated through activities like biking or walking to and from school.

In his talk at Oak Ridge Elementary today, Figureida explained that development of bike paths in cities does more than just advocate exercise:

Figureida was introduced at today's talk by Sartell Mayor Joe Perske, who declared October as "Safe Routes to School" month in support of making it easier for kids to bike or walk to school.

Figureida's next Minnesota stop is 60 miles away in Brainerd this evening, and his trip will eventually end in Neah Bay, Washington.