Last year, more than 1,000 metro Atlanta commuters traded their steering wheels for handlebars and participated in the first Bike to Work Challenge. More than 17,000 bike trips were logged, eliminating some 130,000 miles of car travel from the road and 64 tons of pollution from the air.
This October, commuters are once again being encouraged to cycle their way to work and compete for prizes in the second annual event.
Organized by the Georgia Department of Transportation, The Clean Air Campaign, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Atlanta Regional Commission and local transportation management associations, the Bike to Work Challenge gives commuters the opportunity to compete as individuals or teams. By registering at atlbiketowork.org, participants will be able to log their bicycle commute trips, track their progress and compete for prizes.
“A growing number of Atlantans are interested in biking to work, whether it’s a single ride or by connecting with transit,” said Tedra Cheatham, executive director of The Clean Air Campaign. “Bicycling to work can free you from traffic and provide many health benefits. Last year, both new and veteran bicycle commuters came out in full force and proved that Atlanta has a strong biking culture. We hope to see even greater participation this year.”
Individuals and teams of two to five people will earn points throughout the month of October by riding their bikes to work, attending instructional bike classes and submitting photos from their biking trips during an online Facebook contest. Participants can track their progress against leaderboards throughout the month. Top individual and team winners will be announced on Nov. 4. Prizes include Patagonia rain jackets and more.
As an extra incentive for new cyclists, participants who try a bike commute for the first time will get bonus points. Plus, all teams will be required to have at least one new cyclist.
The Clean Air Campaign is also extending the Bike Challenge to teens attending metro Atlanta schools. Students ages 13 to 18 may participate in the Teen Bike Challenge and log bike trips via The Clean Air Campaign’s teen website, blogonair.org. Participants may enter as teams or individuals and qualify to win weekly prize drawings. In addition, schools that motivate a significant portion of their student body to take part in the Teen Bike Challenge may qualify for Clean Air School recognition for the 2013-2014 school year.
Bike Riding Facts
- Each week in metro Atlanta, more than 20,000 commute trips are made by bicycle.
- The average person can burn 200 calories in a 20-minute bike ride.
- About 40 percent of auto trips are less than two miles.
- For every one mile pedaled rather than driven, one pound of pollution is kept out of the air.