Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bike Commute Challenge 2008

Last September, participants in the Bike Commute Challenge rode almost a million miles. They saved almost a million pounds of C02, almost $500,000 in vehicle costs, and $130,000 in gas. This September gas is $4.00 a gallon instead of $2.90 and even more people are riding. Imagine the savings!

Get ready for the 2008 Bike Commute Challenge. The challenge is a friendly statewide competition between bicyclists and companies run by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Each September thousands of bicyclists challenge themselves and each other. And everybody has fun.

Roland Maynard at the Oregon Department of Agriculture has already scheduled a bike repair and maintenance clinic for the middle of the month and challenged the Oregon Department of Education to a smackdown, "ODA v. ODE."

Last year Kathleen Kolman, math teacher at Parrish Middle School, used bicycling and her commute as another way for students to approach the equation "distance = rate x time." She also said that she enjoyed explaining to kids that instead of driving she "preferred to ride a bike because it was more fun, saved money, is good for my health and the health of the environment."

At the Oregon Department of Energy, Kip Pheil created an internal set of awards that included the "Multi-Modal Madness" award for the best combination of transit and bicycling, won by an employee who commuted from Eugene.

Robin Rolls, Senior Planner with Cherriots Rideshare offers additional prizes and incentives for bicycle commuters in the Mid-Valley area. Last year the local winners were South Salem Cycleworks (businesses of 25 or fewer employees), Oregon Department of Energy (26-100), Willamette University (101-500), and the Oregon Department of Transportation (501 or more). Who will win this year?

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance also makes raffle prizes available statewide and these have included massages, entry fees to supported rides, and wine. Salem bicycle shops including The Bike Peddler, Santiam Bicycle, Scott's Cycles, and South Salem Cycleworks offer a 10% discount for participating in the challenge with at least 7 rides.

Click here to sign up!

More on how it works and a help/FAQ page.

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