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BTA expects largest Bike Commute Challenge ever

Posted by on August 31st, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Bike commuters on the
Hawthorne Bridge.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

The BTA’s eighth annual Bike Commute Challenge starts tomorrow, offering participants who work weekends an opportunity to get an early jump on the competition.

The statewide event pits companies against each other and they compete based on percentage of possible trips taken by bike, (not mileage). Each company registers online, and winners from are chosen from different categories based on their number of employees.

Last year, 6,000 people from 550 companies “competed” in the Challenge and this year, the BTA’s Events and Outreach Director Michelle Poyourow says she hopes for 7,000 people and 600 companies to participate.

Poyourow has high expectations thanks in part because of a grant from Metro (a presenting sponsor along with OHSU) that has allowed her to hire two, full-time assistants to help with outreach during the event. In an interview this morning she said, “Last year it was just me, working at a bar until 1am every night.”

Bike Master Plan Ride #4
Michelle Poyourow.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

The added personnel will also help the BTA wage an all-out assault on businesses to encourage more employees to go by bike.

One way they hope to accomplish this is by spending time in workplaces, talking with people about bike commuting and offering resources and help as needed.

Poyourow says, “We expect to do 100 workplace visits where we’ll go in and work closely with employees to find out what barriers they have to riding and give them whatever resources they need”.

The event might get people riding in September, but Poyourow says the real goal is to create year-round commuters. “The Challenge is about creating new commuters year-round. If they only ride in September that’s OK too. Those people will become better drivers and come away with more skills and be more likely to keep it up.”

As part of their grant from Metro, the BTA has also expanded the Challenge into the Portland Public School system.

Poyourow said their Safe Routes to Schools program has had a ripple effect, creating more interest than ever in bike commuting, “We’ve seen a lot of interest from parents and teachers. They’ve signed their schools up for the Challenge…I think they see their kids riding and think, ‘hey, I can do that’.”

The Bike Commute Challenge party and awards ceremony (which is always a fun event) is slated for October 4th.

For more details and to register your company, visit BikeCommuteChallenge.com.

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Comments
  • Jonathan Long August 31, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I got my company to sign up for but I ended up busting my knee last week and can\’t bike commute now! bummer, it\’s good to see so many people and companies participating though!

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  • Jessy August 31, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    I arranged for the BTA to come to my workplace and do a Commute 101 Workshop. The guy went to the wrong building and was kind of late, so we were all joking that he was probably looking for parking. Hahah.

    It was pretty great though and we had a good turn out. I suggest anyone else who\’s interested in getting their coworkers to start riding look into having the BTA do one of these workshops. They\’re free during August/September in preparation for the Commute Challenge. wOOt!

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  • a.O August 31, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    We\’re gonna kick yer a**!!

    Just kidding. We probably won\’t, considering all the drivin\’ fools around here. But I\’ll be logging my paultry 12 miles daily throughout the month. And I\’m even gonna work a couple of Saturdays just to throw in a few extra dozen…

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  • Kirsty August 31, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    New bicyclist? Special Bike Commute Challenge SE Pdx bikepool ahoy!

    Three Wednesdays in September…
    * Weds 5th Sept
    * Weds 19th Sept
    * Weds 26th Sept

    * Meet from 7:30am
    * Ride at 8:00am, arriving downtown by 8:30am

    * Common Grounds coffee shop, SE 43rd & Hawthorne.

    Free awesomeness –
    * neighbourhood bike & walk maps
    * bikey information & advice
    * bikey stickers
    * chocolate cupcakes, hurrah

    For more info –
    kirsty.hall@trans.ci.portland.or.us

    Kirsty x

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  • Peter W August 31, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Maybe a big group ride (like what Kirsty, #4, is doing) might be a good way to promote the BCC. Perhaps it could meet up downtown at a central location (Pioneer Square?), then ride around downtown, and at some point groups could take off towards the far corners of the globe, er, city.

    If enough people showed up maybe it would get some major media attention.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 31, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Also RE: Bike-Pools…

    Don\’t forget to connect and create your own Bike-Pool over in the BikePortland Forums!

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  • toddistic August 31, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    All I gotta say is the gauntlet was thrown down at Linfield by Pacific University and they are going DOWN!!

    Go Boxers!

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  • Jeff August 31, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Transferring my long allegiance to this event to my new employer: Providence. Come on Prov! We\’re a healthcare organization for Christsakes.
    One suggestion: my beef has always been that the cool breakfasts, group rides, etc are held after I\’ve already showered and been at work for 2 hrs. How about 6 or 7AM gatherings or after-work suds?

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  • dfalck August 31, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    The BCC was what got me commuting full time . I love it! 20 miles a day and I feel great!

    Dan

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  • Kristen September 4, 2007 at 11:42 am

    The BCC also helped me become a more frequent bike commuter… I\’m hoping to meet my goal of biking to work 4 days a week this year (last year I aimed for, and achieved my goal of, 3 days each week).

    Definitely going to look into the bike-pooling forum!

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  • [...] BTA expects largest Bike Commute Challenge ever [...]

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    [...] to BikePortland this might be the largest Bike Commute Challenge [...]

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