One of the reasons CLIF Bar created the 2 Mile Challenge was to highlight a particularly interesting trend in American transportation: While 40 percent of trips in the U.S. are two miles or more than 90 percent of those trips are taken by car. For short distances like that, why drive when you can ride?
The aim of the aptly named 2 Mile Challenge is to encourage folks to leave their cars at home and give biking a try.
Here at the League, we all ride for many reasons: to get to work, to shuttle kids to school, to celebrate happy hour at our favorite dive bar. And many of our most frequent — and even favorite — trips are just two miles or less, too.
For me, one of the most important trips of the day is to my yoga studio — which just happens to be 0.7 miles from the office. Thanks to my bike, I can leave my desk at 12:25 p.m. and be on my mat for a lunchtime class at 12:30. I asked my fellow League staffers about their favorite, short trips and they had some great responses…
Andy Clarke: Riding up to Capitol Hill and back — not because of the destination, but the inspirational views and buildings you see along the way. Pedaling along Pennsylvania Avenue gives one of the most stunning views of the Capitol. Riding back along the National Mall, toward the Washington Monument, past the Smithsonian museums, is just awesome, especially on a lovely spring or fall evening. The monumental core of Washington D.C. is an international treasure best seen from the seat of bicycle!
Elizabeth Kiker: The ride to Union Station is a pleasure because I ride on the big, lovely, strong-feeling Capitol Bikeshare bikes, and it’s so much faster than walking, Metro-ing, or cabbing.
Nicole Wynands: My favorite 2 mile trip is to the farmers market at Lake Anne in Reston every Saturday morning during the warm months to pick up fresh produce and flowers.
Katie Omberg: The .9 mile ride from my house to the Red Derby, my favorite dive bar in D.C. Monday is half-price burger night, and riding there saves valuable eating time.
Caron Whitaker: Biking to Eastern Market and surrounding restaurants and shops. There are three bike share stations nearby so its a great way to introduce guests to the neighborhood.
Ken McLeod: The 1.1 mile trip to Target and Giant – thanks to my bike, it’s easy to run errands without a car.
Darren Flusche: My favorite short trip is from my apartment in Capitol Hill to anywhere in Northwest D.C. The trip takes me down East Capitol Street, one of the most beautiful streets in the city, with broad, well-designed bike lanes, bicycle-friendly traffic light signal timing — and a perfect view of the U.S. Capitol the whole way. After, I ride right past the Capitol, I connect to the centerline buffered bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue, which take me all the way to the White House, where I wave to the president and continue on my way to points north and west. For a politics nerd like me, it’s a pretty tough ride to beat.
Alison Dewey: My 1.5 mile ride to and home from the metro saves me $1300 a year in parking costs. It also gets me home a lot quicker than a car!
Hamzat Sani: I look forward to the 1.2 mile ride to my old high school to watch my sister’s basketball games from my parent’s place.
What’s YOUR favorite short trip on your bike?
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.