Pedal Instead is Columbus’s bike valet program. Volunteers help to check bikes in and out at all sorts of local events, including most of the summer festivals and OSU home football games. This is a really great program and it’s free! An official description:
“Pedal Instead is a special-event valet services that encourages bicycling by providing secure, supervised bicycle parking at major events. The City of Columbus launched Pedal Instead in 2006… In 2007, Pedal Instead volunteers parked approximately 2,500 bikes.”
How does it work? It’s like “coat check for bicycles.” In more detail … there is a fenced-off area. The volunteers are sitting there the entire time, so no one can mess with your bike, or walk off with it. When you drop off your bike you get a number tag, then the volunteer parks your bike (but does not lock it). When you return they use your number tag to retrieve your bike. It saves you the hassle of looking for good parking, which can be especially tough at large events.
How can you support this? You can be an official sponsor if you have the big bucks… (or you can convince your boss to pony up)…. OR you can be a volunteer and help check bikes in. To volunteer please contact Catherine Girves at firstname.lastname@example.org. They especially need volunteers for this Saturday. They are looking for volunteers to do 2-hour shifts, and you will be there with other people, including a supervisor. So you won’t be lost if it’s your first time. Another incentive for this Saturday – each Pedal Instead volunteer gets a T-shirt and a wristband which gets you into the hospitality tent (which has food).
This Saturday Pedal Instead will be providing valet bike parking at the Long Street Tour event in the King Lincoln District. The Long Street tour has a variety of events going on, running basically all day, from 6 AM to 8 PM. (This event includes long-distance rural rides, a kid’s ride, competitive races, and the friendly neighborhood tour ride, Bike the C-Bus.)
Personally, I find it kind of sad that more major sponsors have not stepped up for Pedal Instead. This is a great program, and it would be good to see it at all sorts of events. Let’s have more racks and more volunteers, so that we can have Pedal Instead at multiple events on the same day!
http://recparks.columbus.gov/Asset/iu_files/Feature_Page/Pedal_Instead.pdf (Pedal Instead info)
http://b2ww.considerbiking.org/files/Pedal%20Instead_general.pdf (More Pedal Instead info)
Long Street Tour (all events)
Bike the C-Bus (riding around various Columbus neighborhoods, one of the Long Street Tour events)