When I checked earlier this morning, Wisconsin had taken an early lead in the National Bike Challenge, but we need everyone who rides a bike to sign up this year because I know Nebraska and Vermont are gunning for us! So sign up and log your miles.
You can enter miles manually on the Challenge website or use any of the time-saving apps that automatically sync with the Challenge like Endomodo, Map My Ride, Moves, and Strava. I prefer Moves because it senses when I am walking, biking and driving and turns on automatically to log my bicycle miles. I never have to do anything with it.
Wisconsin came out on top and won 2014 National Bike Challenge. Wisconsin won because we 7,850 people logged 3,942,771 miles in last year’s Challenge, edging out Nebraska and Vermont in a tight race to the finish.
While bragging rights are fun, thanks to all that pedaling, everyone was a winner, even those who don’t ride bikes because all that pedaling added up to about 214 million calories burned and nearly 3.6 million pounds of carbon that didn’t go into the atmosphere. That left a lot of money left over, as the riders saved over $2.2 million that they would have spent driving. Special kudos to Mary Catterton from Appleton for finishing top female rider in the country with 9,863 miles. Way to go all you Badger State Bikers!
For Wisconsin, four million bicycle miles contributes to healthier communities, puts more money back in local economies and puts smiles on thousands of faces. About half of the four million miles were for transportation, and that’s a lot of car trips replaced by pedal power. It’s good for Wisconsin’s economy, too. Better health means fewer health care costs, not to mention that participants have saved $2.2 million driving — money that can instead be spent on local goods and services.
Calculating these outcomes of the Challenge offers us a unique opportunity to quantify the positive impact that our bicycling community has on our state and local communities. These positive outcomes of bicycling are not “news” for us bicycle enthusiasts, but the numbers and messages are very powerful tools when advocating for bicycling improvements in our towns and cities. Every person and workplace that participates in the Challenge and diligently logs miles is making a significant contribution to creating a better, more bicycle-friendly Wisconsin. We at the Wisconsin Bike Fed cannot thank you enough!
Click here to view the 2013 results!