COLUMBIA — There's no such thing as a free lunch, the saying goes.
There is such a thing as a free breakfast, for one day at least. As part of Columbia's 12th Annual Bike, Walk and Wheel Week, several local businesses and groups will hand out free breakfasts Friday morning.
Friday is "breakfast station day," which means free food from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m for anybody passing by. The breakfasts will be offered at Flat Branch Park, the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail Forum Trailhead, the Activity and Recreation Center, Lion-Stephens Park, Garth Nature Area and Wabash Station.
Walt's Bike Shop will team up with the Mayor's Council on Physical Fitness and Health to hand out food at Flat Branch Park. Store manager Sarah Ashman said the business had been a sponsor in the breakfast stations since the city began the tradition.
"We're just supporting all of the folks who decide to participate," Ashman said. "The stations are a great part of the week."
Paula Vandelicht, a dietician at Hy-Vee and a member of the Mayor's Council, said the main attraction at the Flat Branch station will be waffle sandwiches provided by a Sunflower Waffle Company food truck, in addition to fruit, juice boxes and water.
"They make the waffles using peanut oil and fill the sandwich with eggs and cheese," Vandelicht said. "It's very good and very nutritious."
Anytime Fitness will also be at the station to lead participants in fitness activities, she said.
The week will conclude Saturday at 9 a.m. with a free, untimed 5k run/walk coupled with a 10k bike ride, beginning at the MKT trail access on Stadium Boulevard, to celebrate Columbia's trails and parks. There will also be a slow-paced 11-mile bike ride beginning at the same location at 10 a.m. that will include the MKT, MU Recreation and Hinkson trails and showcase the new Greenbriar access trail. Helmets are required for the event.
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