|Any and all bicycle trips count! Warning: the bicyclist shown here is an immortal professional. Do not attempt.|
This year's National Bike Challenge is nearly here! Registration is open at nationalbikechallenge.org, where you can set up teams and workplaces and log practice miles. The challenge begins for real on May 1st, and runs through September 30th. (Miles recorded during April won't count towards your final totals.)
What is the National Bike Challenge
In a nutshell, it is a nation-wide friendly competition to encourage bicycling by making it a contest. Using the website or one of three(!) smartphone apps, you can log the trips you take by bicycle. You are awarded points for those trips, and points allow for competition on a individual, team, workplace, school, city, and state level.
The challenge rewards riding frequency over distance. It's about using your bike for a wide variety of trips, and encouraging others to give it a try! You can register anytime, even after the start on May 1st. For more information, check out the site's FAQ.
What Is New This Year
The League of American Bicyclists, who runs this program, overhauled the website for this year. The site's functionality, the leaderboards, and other mechanics have been tweaked. They have also facilitated integration with three apps: Endomondo, MapMyRun, and Moves. (No Strava integration yet.)
Why Should I Do This
- If you already bike regularly, it can be a fun way to compete against your fellow bicycling friends. Form two teams of friends and place a wager on monthly or summer-long totals.
- The Challenge offers a fun, engaging framework through which to encourage a partner, friend, or coworker to give bicycling a try.
- The League of American Bicyclists offers prizes based on points level, up to and including new bicycles.
- Workplaces that encourage bicycle commuting have healthier, more productive employees.
- Pride and glory.