Today, May 12, marks the beginning of the annual Strive Not to Drive campaign, which features a series of local events designed to promote active and sustainable transportation.
A highlight is the May 13 Leadership Community Bike Ride. Hosted by city and county officials, riders will take to the streets across Asheville to learn about recent successes and ongoing challenges with developing multimodal transportation infrastructure. Members of the public wishing to join the ride should gather with bikes and helmets in tow at 5:15 in front of City Hall.
On May 15, Lauren Tamayo, who earned a silver medal in track cycling at the 2012 London Olympics, will greet students as they arrive in two “bicycle trains” at Hominy Valley Elementary School. The school is one of six schools across Asheville and Buncombe County that are hosting walk- and bike-to-school events throughout the week. The Buncombe County School system is promoting the events as opportunities for students and parents to get out of their cars and hit the pavement in an effort to support healthier kids and communities.
Meanwhile, later on the day of May 15, planners have organized a more somber event: A bike “Ride of Silence” to honor those who have been killed or injured while riding. Those wanting to participant should meet at 6 p.m. at 25 Woodfin Street.
And on Friday, May 17, volunteers will operate free breakfast stations in West Asheville, the River Arts District, and downtown, offering free food, coffee and other goodies to commuters who walk, cycle, or take the bus to work. Free breakfast or not, organizers also encourage residents to use transportation modes other than driving alone in cars throughout the week.
Bus fare in Asheville will be reduced to only 25 cents everyday of the campaign.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, check out the Strive Not to Drive website.