Columbia Bike, Walk & Wheel week promoting active lifestyle through events

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COLUMBIA - Families and friends will join together to promote active lifestyles during the 18th annual Bike Walk & Wheel week events.

Columbia's Bike Walk and Wheel week is May 11-19, and is hosted by PedNet Coalition, an organization that advocates for active transportation and healthy lifestyles through community outreach and education. 

Lawrence Simonson, Chief Strategy Officer, said it's more than his personal opinion that biking is more enjoyable than driving a car. 

"The research backs that all up, that the most happy commuters are the people that tend to ride their bikes to work and so it gives benefits all around," he said.

Simonson bikes his kids to school then bikes himself to work. 

"It makes sense, like the cost of the automobile versus how much time it actually saves me, which is only an extra five minutes, and I get a little bit of exercise," he said.  

Events during Bike Walk & Wheel week include Women's Mountain Bike Celebration and Mothers Day Family Fun Ride.

Melissa Boldan, mother of three, said events like these help her show her kids it's good to have family time outside. 

"It's my favorite thing to do because it gets everyone together. It's easy in the house for everyone to be distracted by their own things," she said. "It's nice when you come to an event like this, it's all about time together."

Boldan said in a world surrounded by screens indoors, it's important that kids know to get outside and be active. 

"When I grew up, you went outside and you came in at dark," she said. "If you make a point to always [be physically active], then it's something they'll carry on for the rest of their lives," she said.

Boldan has already seen these events positively affecting her kids. 

"They enjoy being outside and having that face-to-face interaction and talking. And not getting lost in the screens, they're enjoying nature and being physically active" she said. 

Other events include:

  • Tuesday: 5:30 to 8 P.M., Wheelchair & Bike Wash at Logboat Brewing.
  • Wednesday: 6 to 8 P.M., Bikes & Brews at Cyclex.
  • May 16: 3 to 6 P.M.., Electric Bike Demo at Shelter Insurance;  6 to 7:30 p.m., Walt’s Bike Maintenance Workshop at Walt’s Bike Shop.
  • May 17: 7 to 9 A.M., Breakfast Station Day at various locations.
  • May 18: 1 to 3 P.M., Cruise the Creeks at Flat Branch Park.
  • May 19: 2 to 4 P.M., Electric Bike Ride at the Armory Sports Center.

"We take steps within each of our events to kind of lower the barriers to entry so people can go get out there and see how easy it is, how fun it is and how enjoyable it is. And really say 'Hey I can do this on a regular basis,'" Simonson said.