If You Don’t Count, You Don’t Count!

35,000 miles logged on the Car Free Calculator, new raffle winner emerges

As promised, we have a new Car Free Calculator raffle winner. Felipe from Squirrel Hill takes the spotlight as we surpass 35,000 miles. Since the last Car Free Fridays blog post a lot has happened. B-Cycle was here to show us how far bike sharing has come and a few days later Gil Peñalosa visited Pittsburgh to inspire us with stories about cities around the world making changes to be more people oriented and less car oriented. In his presentation he brought up the fact that if you don’t count, you don’t count. What he meant of course is that people who bike and walk need to be counted and heard. How convenient that we have the Car Free Calculator at our disposal. Gil, the Director of 8-80 Cities based in Toronto, was the former Commissioner of Parks in Bogota and credited with helping build Ciclovia into an international phenomena. Felipe in Squirrel Hill, who scored the East End Food Coop $25 gift certificate when we reached 35,000 miles was growing up in Bogota when Gil was Commissioner of Parks. Pretty cool coincidence.

Felipe says he was inspired to sign up for the Calculator because he witnessed firsthand how bike-friendly legislation supported by a couple of mayors was instrumental in transforming the congested city into a very attractive place in less than a decade. When he read about the calculator he thought it would be hard to be logging miles in daily (his computer is “very slow”), but what inspired him was realizing that if many of us were using this tool regionally it could be useful in the push to support more bike-friendly and walk-friendly legislation.

Felipe bikes to work whenever he can. He also walks to or from school with one or more of his children regularly, thus walking accounts for most of his miles. It’s the exercise and the sense of independence of biking and walking that has him hooked. His youngest has started biking so he anticipates a mode shift.

The Car Free Fridays raffle is not a scam!

Felipe was in disbelief when he won the latest prize. He almost didn’t respond to the email, thinking it was a phishing scam, but soon he realized it was the real deal. He was excited, and his kids even more so. They love the East End Food Coop, and now they have twenty five dollars of free money to spend there. The Coop is bike friendly too, among the first local businesses to be awarded with the coveted Bike Friendly Employer recognition.

Lastly Felipe candidly shared what he loves most about biking and walking instead of driving. He says, “[it is a] chance to pay more attention to what’s around me–flowers in bloom or the turning of the leaves, a squirrel balancing on the cables overhead, a robin with a worm in its beak.”  He also enjoys the view of Oakland opening up while crossing through Schenley Park and approaching Panther Hollow Bridge. Here’s a guy who obviously takes time to smell the roses and submit his miles. Well done Felipe!

Since the Fourth of July is just around the corner, the next raffle prize will be announced when we collectively burn 3,000,000 calories. We’re more than two thirds of the way there. We could use some help though, so tell your peeps to sign up and log often.

Who is this Commuter X?

In the next Car Free Calculator blog post we see if we can’t catch up with calculator user, Commuter X. At 2,531 miles this commuter remains elusive. Who is it? Does anyone know anything about them? Man, Woman, Beast? Let us know if you do, we’re determined to get the story.

Photo credit: View from Panther Hollow Bridge by BikePGH member Tom Lauwers.

Not a member of BikePGH? Join today! We need you to add your voice! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect cyclist’s rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride. For more info, check out: www.bike-pgh.org/membership

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