Columbia's Seventh Annual Bike, Walk and Wheel Week kicks off Saturday

Thursday, May 1, 2008 | 11:45 p.m. CDT; updated 1:25 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Instead of driving next week, many Columbians will be leaving the car keys at home and taking part in the Seventh Annual Mayor’s Challenge — Bike, Walk and Wheel Week starting Saturday.

The week, culminating on May 10, encourages residents to use active modes of transportation to get around town and offers numerous daily events and activities for all ages.

If you go

  • Family Ride Forum Trailhead; 12:30 p.m.
  • Float Your Boat, A Children’s Nature Activity; 1 to 3 p.m., Flat Branch Park
  • Kick-Off Celebration; 1 to 4 p.m., Flat Branch Park
  • Cycle Recycle; 1 to 3 p.m., Columbia/Boone County Health Dept.
  • Trail to a Cure: Bike Ride/ Walk/ Run; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Skate Party; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Empire Roller Rink
  • Bicycle Maintenance and Commuting Tips; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., GetAbout columbia office
  • Tuesday
    • Spring Health & Fitness Expo and Awards; 5:30 to 8 p.m., the ARC
    • Getabout Columbia Open House; 4 to 7 p.m.
    • Women’s Bike Repair and Maintenance; 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tryathletics
    • Columbia Try Transit Day; Free City Bus Rides all day
    • PedNet Scavenger Hunt, 6 to 8 p.m. starting at Grill One 5; $10 entry fee
    • Breakfast Station Day; 7 to 9 a.m. at various locations
    • Saturday

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“We really want to expose people who haven’t had an opportunity to bike and walk,” Chris Walthall, community program coordinator for the PedNet Coalition, said. PedNet is a part of GetAbout Columbia, an organization founded in 2006 that encourages and educates residents to choose active transportation over driving.

“We have heard success stories of people who participated in Bike, Walk and Wheel Week and have started to bike regularly,” Walthall said.

The event has a strong response from the community and many have become loyal participants. The week has grown from 750 participants in its first year to over 3,400 people last year, Walthall said.

John and Mary Durboraw, who have participated in the event for the past few years, said they see Bike, Walk And Wheel Week as a celebration of spring.

“It is a neat time to be out there,” said Mary Durboraw, 52. “You make a statement for Columbia.”

The week features opportunities for residents to hear instruction and helpful hints on equipment upkeep and safety.

One event is the Women’s Bike Repair and Maintenance demonstration at Tryathletics.

“It will cover the basics of bike repair and maintenance on how to make sure your bike is running efficiently,” Janet Godon, outreach coordinator for the PedNet Coalition, said.

“It will show you how to change your tire, oil your chain, basic things like that,” she said.

Bridget Murphy, 38, who has participated for the last six years, said the event has a positive impact on the community. As an advocate for cycling be-

cause of health reasons, Murphy said, she sees the week as an op-

portunity to teach children.

Murphy also enjoys the events’s atmosphere.

“There is something about the festivity of it all,” said Murphy. “I would like to see more opportunities like this.”

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