A few weeks ago I got an email from my school’s alumni association. Usually I delete them since I really didn’t know anyone from my undergrad program since I finished with a different group than the one I started with (I did my undergrad in 3 years).
This time, however, something in the subject line caught my attention – it said “Join us in the National Bike Challenge!”
I like bikes.
I like challenges.
This could be something cool.
So I opened it.
It turns out my school was participating in the National Bike Challenge and I could join their “School Team” to earn points and…
Win prizes and bragging rights!
So what is it?
For those of you who frequent Reddit you’ll notice this little trick:
TL;DR – The National Bike Challenge is sponsored by PeopleForBikes and links to Strava so you can track the distance and time you ride. You earn points individually and for the team(s) that you join. You can win stuff.
TL;DR stands for Too Long; Didn’t Read by the way.
For those who like more detail here you go:
The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists—and encouraging countless new riders. In its simplest form it is a logging center for users to record miles ridden and be part of the national community of bicyclists. It is a free and easy way to challenge yourself, colleagues and the greater community to ride more. Users compete on a local, state and national level. The Challenge aims to unite 100,000 riders to pedal 35 million miles from May 1, 2015 until September 30, 2015. The Challenge is a successful partnership between PeopleForBikes and Kimberly-Clark’s Scott Natural Brand.”
Some of you might have heard of the group PeopleForBikes. They’re the group that’s trying to change the discussion from “Motorists vs. Cyclists” to “People who drive cars and People who ride bikes” – kinda bringing the conversation down to the fact that we’re all just people.
Here’s how they define their mission:
PeopleForBikes is the movement to make riding better for everyone. By collaborating with millions of individual riders, businesses, community leaders, and elected officials, we’re uniting people to create a powerful, united voice for bicycling and its benefits.
Our goal is to make every bike ride better, whether that ride takes you on trails, down to the grocery store, or all the way across town. Why? Because when people ride bikes, great things happen for our bodies and our minds, and our local and global communities.”
So, what’s the point?
For the organizers the bigger point is about uniting cyclists – and some other stuff but I zoned out a bit.
Really in my mind it’s just about the bragging rights, the potential for a prize and segmenting your data in different ways (by teams, workplace, geography, etc.).
For us data nerds out there, this is a pretty big sell. I like seeing how I stack up to others.
Ever the one looking for a pat on the back (be it virtual or not) I decided to join. It’s not too complicated to join – you can link it to your Strava account which makes it pretty simple. (you can manually log miles if you don’t want to link it to Strava as well)
It takes a few minutes to figure it all out and learn to navigate the site.
Once you join you are automatically included in your geographic competitions but you can manually select/add your school, your workplace or your team.
I created a pedal RACING team that you can join. (Click Here to join the National Bike Challenge don’t forget to add pedal RACING as your team!.)
It does take a few minutes to update all of your rides and stats (so you’ll have to be patient).
But once it does the points start rolling in and so do the virtual awards.
I’m currently a “Gold Level”.
I don’t know what that means but I think it’s pretty cool.
I thought you might too – so I shared.
Please join me on the pedal RACING team and let’s represent!
A few more details:
If you are a member of a different cycling team you can join our “Amateur Race Teams” League so you can see how we all stack up.
This took me a while to figure out but basically teams join leagues so you can compete on a secondary level.
Also, if you work at a bike shop (hint, hint pedal) you can create a shop team as well.
The points are tallied each month so join before the end of July to get credit for all rides prior.
BTW – Since I know we get a lot of readers from all over the web -I will boot you off the competition team if you aren’t a real member of pedal RACING or pedal CLUB. We have to maintain data integrity you know!
Hope to see you out there.