The National Bike Challenge

The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event to challenge people to ride bicycles more often to create a healthier workplace and get people excited about bicycling. Now entering its fourth year nationally, the event is a free, easy way to challenge yourself, your colleagues and your community to ride more while competing on a local, state and national level.

More than 45,000 riders logged 23 million miles nationally last year. In 2015, the challenge is aiming for 75,000 riders between May 1 and Sept. 30. The goal in Washington state is to see 1,000 participants this year. Memorial has signed on to the National Bike Challenge and is encouraging others to do so as well. Randy Brown of Memorial’s Information Systems Department appeared on KIT 1280 on April 28, 2015, to talk more about it.

Why is Memorial participating?

Memorial recognizes that having a Healthy Yakima means having a healthy population and a healthy environment, and the National Bike Challenge is a fun way to work toward that goal.

  • This is a fun, team-building experience that will help build camaraderie in the workplace as participants work toward a common goal and compete against other businesses in the region, state and country.
  • Encouraging participation will help to make our community healthier.
  • Participants can reduce car maintenance, fuel and parking expenses. Businesses whose employees participate will benefit from reduced health care and transportation-related costs.
  • Bicycling reduces emissions and greenhouse gases. Nearly 50 percent of all trips in metropolitan areas are 3 miles or less and 28 percent are one mile or less – distances easily covered by bicycle.
  • Joining the National Bike Challenge is a great way to kick off National Bike Month in May!

Why do you participate?

Health: In the past 12 months, I’ve ridden over 1,200 miles, and I have more energy and feel healthier than I ever have. I ride about 8 miles round trip Monday through Friday.

Economics: About a year ago, my wife and I took a financial course that taught us solid principles for getting and staying out of debt. Since then, we’ve made several changes in our lives to insure that we are financially stable, saving money and being good stewards of what God has given us. In the past 12 months, I’ve saved 60 gallons of gas and about $447 by riding to work and other places around Yakima.

Environment: We kept about 1,186 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the environment because I rode in the past 12 months.

Prizes: I love entering (and winning) contests! The National Bike Challenge offers monthly prizes based on the number of miles that you’ve ridden. The more you ride, the greater the chance of winning. Memorial also is offering employees MyWellness points for joining the challenge and riding at least 20 miles, and they have an opportunity to enter to win prizes based on the points they’ve earned.

How do you track your miles?

The “Moves” app automatically tracks walking, running and cycling miles, and it knows when you’re exercising without having to tell it. There are similar apps in the marketplace, and the National Bike Challenge website connects with these apps so your miles are recorded to the site. It’s really cool and easy!

For more information, visit nationalbikechallenge.org.

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