PedNet promotes "Carfree September" in Columbia

According to a Columbia Tribune article:
Last year, the PedNet Coalition’s Low-Car Diet Challenge encouraged Columbia residents to replace trips taken by car with forms of nonmotorized transportation, such as bicycling and walking. This year, the monthlong challenge is more of a fast than a diet.

For the month of September, the coalition is asking people who participate in the third annual contest, now dubbed the No-Car Diet Challenge, to use no motorized transportation other than permitted forms that include wheelchairs, school buses, Columbia Transit, shuttle buses and trains.

Chris Walthall, PedNet’s community programs coordinator, said last year’s contest accommodated different skill levels with three categories: elite, business traveler and weekly shopper. But this year, it’s all or nothing.

"That’s why it’s called a challenge," Walthall said. . . .

Rachel Ruhlen, who participated last year, said it took a little adapting to travel everywhere by bike, but she found once it became a habit, it wasn’t that much of a change. "When you first start, you have to learn things, like bringing a change of clothes when it’s raining and make sure you double bag them, not just bag them," Ruhlen said. "But you learn as you go along."

Ruhlen said she successfully completed the monthlong challenge, which for her included a camping trip with her family - all by bike, which was a large challenge in itself.

"We probably took less camping stuff than we normally would," Ruhlen said. "We probably should have brought a can opener; that probably wouldn’t have taken that much room. And some matches would have been good."
You can register by Sept. 3rd on the Pednet No-Car Challenge web site.

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