On Saturday Mobilians on Bikes hosted a short little ride down to the Chili Cookoff in downtown Mobile. The Cookoff is a fundraiser for cancer research and regularly gets 20,000 – 25,000 participants. Never mind that eating too much red meat is linked to causing cancer. While I think the Chili Cookoff is a fun thing and some of the chili was very good I always have to question these health fundraising activities that promote unhealthy eating practices. My guess is poor diet and lack of exercise are the leading causes of cancer. But I guess there is no money to be made in cancer prevention! They did have a vegetarian chili section and a vegetarian chili won 1st prize for the first time ever. So that is a good thing. How about the exercise part? People in Alabama don’t collectively do any real active transportation and the city of Mobile certainly does not support it. It’s beginning to tick me off seeing so many people simply driving on a nice day to get a couple miles. The Chili Cookoff was packed with auto parking but not many people ride their bikes or walk. This is sad because the weather was nice.
Mobilians on Bikes is trying to promote more active transportation in the Mobile area and so we hosted a short bike ride down to the event. We also asked the Cookoff organizers to provide secure parking for cyclists. The organizers were very gracious and gave us a convenient spot to park our bikes. I’m hoping that next year we will get the organizers to promote this feature and get more citizens cycling to these types of events.