PedNet urges drivers out of their cars and onto bikes

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | 7:01 p.m. CDT; updated 7:07 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 1, 2010

COLUMBIA — More people than last year have registered to take part in the PedNet Coalition No Car, Low Car and Whoa! Car Challenge that started Wednesday.

The challenge encourages participants to walk or bike around town instead of using their cars for the month of September.

The challenge has three different levels: no car, which means absolutely no car use for the month of September; low car, which means car use for one weekend in September; and whoa! car, which means car use for one day each week in September.

Gina Overshiner, education coordinator for PedNet and organizer of this year’s challenge, said the goal is to help people realize living without cars isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

Ten local businesses such as Café Berlin and Main Squeeze, among others, have joined forces to provide "Participant Perks" for those taking the challenge. The perks include a 10 percent discount on bike lights and a free flat fix for daily commuter bikes from Klunk Cycles. Columbia Transit System is also providing free bus fare for the month of September for challenge participants. 

Overshiner said this year’s number of participants has increased slightly from last year’s 80. As of day one, more than 80 participants had registered and applications were rolling in throughout the day. People of all ages are invited to participate. Several families have already signed up, Overshiner said.

There are prizes for best blog, photo and video documenting challenge experiences and events.

Those interested in participating can apply here.

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