It’s May Bike Month and that means it is also time for The National Bike Challenge!The National Bike Challenge, hosted by The League of American Bicyclist, is a nationwide event that offers a free, fun, and easy way to be a part of the national community of bicyclists. The challenge lets you log your miles and even compete with other cyclists and colleagues on local, state, and national levels both within groups, such as your city, state or place of work, and as an individual. There are also great educational tools and a plethora of information to guide you on your biking journey this summer!
This is the fourth year for the National Bike Challenge and the goal for this year has increased to get 75,000 riders to log in 35 million miles between May 1, 2015, and September 30, 2015. Already 75,099 cyclists have joined and have already bike 1,157,348 miles together and it is only May 8th! However, there are still over many millions of miles to go and every rider helps to make that goal a reality!
Many team members at Schwinn also join in the National Bike Challenge each year both as individuals and as a part of the collective Pacific Cycle team. I personally find it to be a very simple and fun way to check my progress and motivate myself to increase my cycling. Once you have a profile you can see a calendar that marks off all the days you have biked and whether it was for fun/sport or for transportation/commuting. Being able to see the calendar and the dates I have cycled has encouraged me to add a weekend ride into my schedule this summer. The profile also lists your total miles logged, your longest ride to date, and your best month in miles. Furthermore, the profile gives you points based on miles ridden. These points add up to badge levels. 100 points sets you at the Bronze level, 250 points brings you to the Silver level, 750 points gets you the Gold, then 2,500 sets you at Platinum, and if you are really endeavorous you can go all the way to Diamond at 5,000! Participants can also win prizes based on their points and categories specified by the Challenge; prizes are always a great thing and an excellent additional motivator!
Perhaps my favorite part of the entire National Bike Challenge web site is that I can see how my cycling has affected my health, my wallet, and the environment. For each ride you see calories you burned, dollars you saved, and pounds of CO2 you did not release into the air from biking. Talk about a win, win, win!
You can also join customized groups that are separate from the local and state group you are automatically a part of. For me the workplace, Pacific Cycle group has been a great way for me to see where I stack up amongst my colleagues and a way to encourage others to get out on their bike more often. Milissa and I in particular make sure we log every single one of our rides to bolster the team and increase our rankings.
Another nifty thing about the way the National Bike Challenge is set up is that you can use almost any app that you already have on your phone to log your bike rides and sync it directly to your profile on the National Bike Challenge website. That way you don’t have to try and remember all your miles or guess how many you road each day. Plus you can add or edit miles directly on the Challenge’s website.
Now, I hesitate to tell you all to join, because I am a very competitive person and I am extremely invested in the home team (Wisconsin) winning it all, we won last year, if you didn’t know; however, I think that this is such a great way to unite all cyclists throughout the nation to rally together as individuals and as groups and really support one another as well, so I encourage you all to check it out, set up a profile, and…
Check out The National Bike Challenge here: https://nationalbikechallenge.org/