The 2014 National Bike Challenge is about to kick off on May 1st. This fun program is organized by the League of American bicyclists with the goal of getting more people on the bike for both recreation and transportation. As the challenge aims to change our transportation habits, it runs for five whole months from May 1st to September 30th.
The simple fact of getting more bikes on the road increases rider safety, and cities like Portland and Davis with many cyclists have very few cyclist fatalities. Getting more people riding in and around Tallahassee is one of the goals of the Capital City Cyclists and we are therefor hosting the local part of the challenge. We’re covering the counties of Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, and Wakulla. It’s free, and there are great prizes to win. It’s also fun to see how you and your workplace or team is doing with respect to the rest of Tallahassee and the rest of the country. In last year’s challenge the Gainesville Cycling Club won the award for the best team, nationally. We should give them some competition this year! Just go to www.nationalbikechallenge.org and sign up. When you do, you can search for and join the Capital City Cyclist team. You can of course also join other teams that will be set up by participants in the coming weeks, or you can start your own team. Also, look for your workplace and/or school, or consider becoming the coordinator for your school or workplace.
The challenge runs from May to the end of September, and each month there are prizes to win. The rules are simple, 20 point for each day you ride, and one point for each mile you ride. You can log your miles manually, or use your smartphone or Garmin GPS device to upload your rides to endomondo, mapmyride, or moves. The bike challenge website can then sync the rides you enter there. While all rides count towards points, miles, and calories burnt, miles you ride instead or using your car for transportation count towards dollars and CO2 saved, so you can keep track of your savings and your reduced CO2 footprint. The web interface is brand new, and the League had to rush to get it set up in time. You’re bound to have some questions, but you can post these easily in the comment section on the website and get these answered.
While the challenge itself starts May 1st , you can sign up already during the “warmup” period and get used to it. May 1st all counters will be set to zero.
Those that participated last year had great fun with the challenge. It’s a great and free way of contributing to the cause. Give it a try yourself and spread the word among you colleagues and friends! Go to www.nationalbikechallenge.org and sign up!