The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists — and encouraging countless new riders. It is a free and easy way to challenge yourself, your colleagues and your community to ride more while competing on a local, state and national level.
Now entering its 4th year, the annual Challenge runs from May 1 to September 30. In 2013, more than 30,000 riders logged almost 19 million miles and the goal for 2015 is to get 100,000 riders to pedal 35 million miles during the 5-month period.
The National Bike Challenge makes it easy to keep records of your participation by downloading a mobile app from the website. This 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.
Last month, local bicycling enthusiast, Ruth Duran Deffley, issued a Facebook challenge, encouraging her Savannah friends to participate in this heart-healthy exercise. “Even if you just bike recreationally and very little, it all adds up,” she said. “It's super easy to do. And it will motivate you to bike even more.”
The Challenge is a great way to get connected to other bike-friendly — and bike-curious — folks in your community and across the country. Join the challenge as an individual or form a team by visiting www.nationalbikechallenge.org and creating a profile.
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.
Once you have established 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. 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. 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!
For each ride you see calories you burned, dollars you saved, and pounds of CO2 you did not release into the air from biking.
As of last month, the Savannah team had a total of 128 riders participating. This number may seem small compared to the city's MSA population of 229,579 residents but cumulatively, this group has pedaled over 13,244 miles. They've burned an estimated 717,901 calories, saved $1939 in fuel costs and reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 3,088 pounds.
So what are you waiting for? Get off that sofa and start pedaling!