01 September 2011

Time to Throw Down: BicyclingHub Team Kicks Off Bike Commute Challenge in Style

Pump up those tires! The Bike Commute Challenge starts today, September 1, and encourages cyclists in the greater Portland area to log trips by bike and foot to and from work for the month of September. Administered by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, every trip logged helps registered teams rack up a better-than-ever bike commute rate and gives both individuals and teams chances to win cool prizes in weekly drawings.

Boasting a nearly 100% bicycle or pedestrian commute rate (with the occasional use of public transportation), the BicyclingHub Team is facing a competitive showdown with some of locally-based and nationally-recognized brands we sell, including Showers Pass, Retro Image Apparel and Castelli USA. New-and-improved features on bikecommutechallenge.com boost the friendly competitive aspect of the Challenge, including the ability to search for friends and rivals under Standings and issue challenges to head-to-head competitions, compare progress to other individuals, teams, and organizations throughout the month, and form and compete in organized Leagues with rival workplaces, regions, or business associations.

According to the BTA, "The quality of the route to work is perhaps the biggest factor in determining whether or not a new rider will enjoy their first commute, (and therefore be willing to try it again), and finding a good bike route is not always intuitive for someone who knows only the major arterials that lead to their workplace."

Suggested Resources (courtesy of the BTA):

1. Bike Maps
Contact your city or county government to find out what bike maps are available in your area. Bring a stack back to your workplace to share, and post a bike map for all to use as a resource in your cubicle, break room, or parking garage.

2. Online Trip-Planning Tools
There are a number of tools available online to map and share routes.

Google Maps has a by-bike option that, though still in beta, can be a helpful tool. Sometimes the directions are great, and sometimes Google doesn't quite have the data or on-the-ground knowledge to steer users toward the routes experience riders know and love. Ride the City is another option for commutes within the City of Portland.

Map My Ride allows riders to log their favorite routes in any locale so that others can search for them.

Starting September 1, Metro will have a full digital version of the Bike There! map that will allow users to zoom in and out. The tool will not be a route-planner like Google Maps, but it will allow users to see and compare the most suitable bike routes for riding to and from work.

3. Bikers helping Bikers
Even with all these tools, the best way for a new rider to find the best route is to learn first-hand from another biker traveling the same way. A workplace bike buddy program can be as simple as posting a list of riders, organized by neighborhood or zip code, who are willing to help with route planning or even join new riders for their first bike commute.

Help grow the statewide network of bike mentors by registering with the Drive Less Connect rideshare program. The website allows users to find matches for both carpooling and bikepooling to work or for other trips. Larger workplaces can encourage all participants to register for the greatest possible number of ride matches.

NOTE: In order to better serve our customers, BicyclingHub.com provides FREE bicycle maps for both the greater Portland area (in traditional pamphlet size and folding pocket versions) as well as SouthEast Biking and Walking maps. Stop in our retail location at 642 SE Stark St., Portland, Oregon 97214. OR simply request a copy with your next order in the "comments" section and we'll include a copy free of charge!

And don't forget:
Need good commuting gear to keep you riding throughout the Fall and Winter? Be sure to shop our One Day Clearance Sale Event happening Friday, September 2nd from 10-6:30PM at our Portland, OR retail location!

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