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Next Week: Zipcar Launches The Low-Car Diet Challenge

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Putting a car in the shop is never fun, but then again, it's almost never as bad as you think, either. You adjust your schedule, you take a bus or two, you survive. But could you last more than a few days without your ride? Could you last a whole month? Zipcar wants to find out.

For the fourth year in a row, Zipcar is gearing up to launch its annual Low-Car Diet challenge. The event kicks off next Monday, July 25, and encourages drivers across North America to hang up their keys for a full 30 days.

In previous years, the Low-Car Diet challenge has been fairly egalitarian; anyone who wanted to participate could do so by signing up at the Zipcar website. But this year, the company has upped the ante by making things somewhat more competitive.

The 2011 challenge will center on 13 major cities in the U.S. and Canada: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Washington, D.C. Not coincidentally, Zipcar has outlets in all of them.

Each of those focus cities will be represented by a three-person team. As with similar promotions, members of those teams will blog and vlog and tweet about their daily experiences of going carless. The public will have a chance to vote for their favorite team, and the team with the most votes will win an as-yet-unnamed grand prize.

Of course, you don't have to be on a team or even live in a Zipcar market to participate -- the company says its goal is to encourage healthier lifestyles. According to a Zipcar press release, last year's 262 Low-Car Diet participants lost a total of 247 pounds while forgoing their cars for bikes and buses. That said, if you're not on a team, you won't be eligible for that grand prize, but maybe it's the thought that counts. 

To sign up or learn more, visit Zipcar.com/lowcardiet.

 
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