When we kicked off the National Bike Challenge in May, we knew our goal was ambitious: Unite American bicyclists to ride 10 million miles this summer. Well, with three months behind us and just one month to go, we’re on pace to FAR exceed even that impressive milestone. Thus far, more than 29,000 participants have pedaled nearly 9.5 million miles.
And hundreds of those riders have gotten a little something for their efforts.
Thanks to our partners at Bikes Belong and our generous sponsors, at the end of each month there’s a drawing. Thus far, more than 300 people from every corner of the country have won an array of different prizes, from Trek water bottles to Better World Club bike memberships to a year’s supply of Cottonelle bath tissue. Of course, the most coveted items — reserved for folks who have earned enough points to rise to the Gold Level — have been brand new bikes from Trek and Specialized.
July winner were just announced this week. Shelli Shipps from Kansas won a Specialized Globe and Jonathan Oakley from Indiana will be pedaling a new Trek. Last month, the two bikes went to Texas resident Howard Maher and Zulma Castaneda in California, respectively.
Chris Nelson, who lives and rides just outside of Minneapolis, Minn., was honored to be the first winner of a Specialized bike in May. “I’ve been a bike commuter on and off for 20 years,” he says. “During the past 12 months I’ve become a committed daily bike commuter — all seasons, all weather, I ride 10 miles from home to office and back. I love getting the fresh air and exercise to start and end each day.”
So, why get involved with the Challenge? “I like these events and how they promote biking,” he explains. “I tend to ride my bike because I love it, however, I get involved with the Challenge and other events that track biking (Endomondo is a great tool!) because they help give hard statistics to the impact of bikes — helping cities and states justify investing more in bike infrastructure. So my goal is to help our community justify building better routes for everybody to enjoy biking.”
Who will take home the grand prizes — including a Trek Travel trip through California’s wine country and a White Rim Trail Trip from Western Spirit — when the Challenge concludes on August 31st? Stay tuned — and keep pedaling!
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.