Last September Janet Penkaty traded in her car keys for a tandem bicycle and she says it changed her life.
On the strength of an essay of going without a car, Penkaty was chosen in a contest sponsored by Brown Cycle to give up her car for three weeks. In exchange, she was given a tandem bike, named “The Yellow Banana” and a trailer to pedal all around the Grand Valley. And if she did it without riding in a car during that time, she got to keep the bike.
"I had all three of my boys with me, most of the time pedaling and sometimes they refused to pedal. I had 100 pounds of dead weight behind me to pull." Says Penkaty.
And pull she did. She has made 20 mile round trips from her home near the 29 Road bridge in Orchard Mesa to the soccer fields at Canyon View Park and to birthday parties at Chucky Cheese.
Penkaty has continued to pedal around even after the three weeks has come and gone. She says the benefits are rich as saves about $280-300 a month in gas. Along with a smaller waistline, Penkaty says she’s gotten closer to her three boys.
She has discovered that as far as biking goes, Grand Junction is the place to do it in but she does wish she had one perk a year ago that bikers have now – the new Riverside Parkway.
“I think that would have really made my experience a lot easier."
Penkaty admits that she does use her car when she goes to Wal-Mart.