Bike, Walk, Wheel Week

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COLUMBIA - Pednet, a local transportation-advocacy group, is hosting several events for its annual Bike, Walk & Wheel week. 

The week began as a day-long "Mayor's Challenge" in 2001, under then mayor Darwin Hindman, as an initiative to get people to dedicate a day to utilizing alternative transportation methods.

"It's just grown from there to a full on, week-long celebration of taking the bus, riding the bike and walking," said program coordinator Heather Marriott. 

Today's event, a "Mother's Day Family Fun Ride," was intentionally coordinated with the holiday.

"Last year was the first time we did the Mother's Day ride," Marriott said. "We wanted it to be more family involved because we have a lot of stuff throughout the week that is adult specific."

Lawrence Simonson, an assistant director at Pednet, said the event is a fun way for families to be active while bonding.

"I just hope that it kind of reminds families how much fun it is to get out and do things on their bikes, and that they will continue," Simonson said. 

Other events the organization is hosting include a "Happy Hour" walk through Hinkson Creek trail and "Bikes and Brew," a biking tour through several downtown bars.

Simonson said the organization made a concerted effort to include leisurely events throughout the week. 

"People think biking is this activity that is supposed to be grueling and exercise but its really not - its more than that, its a fun activity," he said. "So we try to do events that help show that or showcase just how much fun biking is."

Events will continue through Sun. May 20, when the organization will host the "Hairy Hundred Gravel Race," a 100-mile bike race through gravel roads.