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Charlotte bike booster honored for Earth Day

Pamela Murray of Charlotte Spokes People is working to get more drivers onto bicycles.
Pamela Murray of Charlotte Spokes People is working to get more drivers onto bicycles.

I asked Pamela Murray what year her car was made, and she couldn’t tell me right off. Her 24-speed Rivendell Betty Foy bicycle, however, she can tell you almost everything about that.

She got the robin’s egg blue Rivendell in 2011 and rides at least an hour most days, and longer trips other times.

Along the way, Murray, 48, has become an advocate for bicycle transportation. She leads group rides, bicycle safety classes and an annual block party – all to get people out of their cars and pedaling.

Murray has been nominated as a leader in the movement for sustainable living locally. Nonprofit Sustain Charlotte will recognize her at its Earth Day celebration on April 22.

About 30 awards will be given to local residents and organizations for leading us toward “a healthier, more vibrant community.”

In 2011, Murray started BikeFest, a block party in her in Plaza Midwood neighborhood for people on bikes, tricycles, scooters, rascals, rollerblades, skateboards and wagons. Pedestrians also can attend the event, which returns this year on May 3.

Murray brought the Bicycle Benefits program to Charlotte in 2013, giving riders special deals at local businesses that participate.

Charlotte Spokes People rolled out in 2012 and offers weekly rides from Plaza Midwood on Tuesday evenings and Sundays, rain or shine. She also offers Cycling Savvy classes to help riders become more comfortable navigating Charlotte’s streets.

“The question I get the most is, ‘Do I have a car?’” I do,” she said of the silver 2006 BMW 330 in her garage. “I just don’t like to drive.”

Karen’s blog: http://www.charlotteobserver.com

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/homelife-blog/; on Twitter @sullivan_kms. See earlier Homelife columns at http://homelifeclt.blogspot.com.

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