COLUMBIA — Bike, Walk and Wheel Week's shoestring budget got shorter this year.
The event, a weeklong celebration of non-motorized transportation coordinated by Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department, will use $700 to $800 from the department's budget — plus sponsorships and donations — to help fund this year's program, said Erika Coffman, recreation services manager.
Saturday, May 12
Confident City Cycling Class
When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: PedNet Office, 501 Fay St. Suite 204
What: Learn to ride a bike in the city. Costs $50.
Kids Bike Safety
When: 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Shelter Insurance, 1817 West Broadway
Story Book Trail “Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature”
When: Dawn to Dusk
Where: Forum Nature Area, 2701 Forum Blvd.
(suggested for kids reading level 4-8)
Bike, Walk and WOOF
When: Dawn to Dusk
Where: Local Dog Parks and Trails
Sunday, May 13
Bike or hike to church Sunday!
Monday, May 14
Bike is Your Ticket on Transit
When: All week
Where: Columbia buses
What: Bicyclists ride the city buses for free.
Walking Public Art Tour
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Flat Branch Park, 101 S. Fourth St.
Tuesday, May 15
Secret Access Trail Ride
When: 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Flat Branch Park Gazebo, corner of Fourth and Cherry streets
Helmets are required.
Wednesday, May 16
Brown Bag Lunch Session “I Would Bike/Walk to Work, But…”
When: noon to 12:45 p.m.
What: Get tips and learn strategies to become a regular active commuter.
Family Fun Fest: Fitness is Fun!
When: 6 to 8 p.m.
Where Flat Branch Park, 101 S. Fourth St.
Thursday, May 17
Try Transit Day
When: all day
Where: Columbia city buses
What: Everybody rides free
Walk the Course for $3 discount
When: 7 a.m to dark
What: $3 discount if you walk one of these golf courses.
Bike Shop Workshop
When: 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.
When: Walt’s Bicycle Fitness & Wilderness Co, 1217 Rogers Street
What: DIY basic bicycle maintenance
Friday, May 18
Breakfast Station Day — National Bike to Work Day
When: 7 to 9 a.m.
- MKT Trailhead at Forum Boulevard (Breakfast by Clovers Natural Market and Tryathletics)
- Activity & Recreation Center (ARC), Clinkscales & Ash streets(Breakfast by Hy-Vee)
- Lions-Stephens Park, 104 N. Williams St. (Breakfast by Wellaware: Boone Hospital Center’s Health and Wellness Services)
- Flat Branch Park, 101 S. Fourth St. (Breakfast by Walt’s Bicycle Fitness & Wilderness Co. and Mayor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Health)
- Fire Station 9, Blue Ridge and Providence roads (Breakfast by Columbia Kiwanis Club)
Saturday, May 19
Trails Day; 5K Walk/Run & 10K Bike Event
When: 9 to 10 a.m.
Where: MKT Trail Access, 800 S. Stadium Blvd. (MLK Jr. Memorial)
What: No registration required.
Wheelchair Wash and Roll
When: noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Stephens Lake Park, corner Old Highway 63 and Broadway.
What: Free wheelchair detailing and snacks for participants.
Before it was sponsored by GetAbout Columbia, the week was funded entirely through donations. In 2007, the event's budget got a $108,000 boost when PedNet became a subcontractor for the non-motorized pilot program through GetAbout Columbia. That contract ended in 2010, and city funding was cut to $5,000.
Now, with less than $1,000, the Parks and Recreation Department had to get creative.
"One (event) that I'm excited about is the storybook trail," Coffman said.
One the storybook trail, the pages of Joyce Sidman's "Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature" will be attached to fence posts along the Forum Nature trail. Parents and children can mosey down the path while reading the book together.
Events like Bike, Walk and WOOF were conceived to encourage people to take advantage of services that are already available, such as local trails and dog parks, Coffman said.
Without deep pockets to dip into for advertising, the Parks and Recreation department used social media, websites and a flier distributed at all Columbia elementary schools to get the word out, Coffman said.
"We've been able to do a lot with very little," Coffman said, adding that it wouldn't be possible without sponsors.
Parks and Recreation and Columbia/Boone County Health and Human Services are heading the event this spring. Sponsors include the city's Public Works Department, PedNet, Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs, and Services for Independent Living.
Although GetAbout got an extra boost of about $6 million this year, no contract means no corresponding budget bump for this spring's Bike, Walk and Wheel Week.
GetAbout's current plan is to focus the money into making new bike lanes and improving sidewalks and trails — projects that will make bike riding easier in Columbia, said Jill Stedem, public information specialist for the Public Works department.
Bike, Walk and Wheel Week, which is in its 11th year, will be held Saturday through May 19.