with bikes was a treat of its own.
Oregon’s annual Bike Commute Challenge wrapped up Thursday night with cheap beer, free pizza, prize raffles and the results of a month of online trip logging.
Unlike in recent years, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance held its afterparty inside Portland City Hall. It’s a small, beautiful building with an indoor atrium that created a fun multi-level interaction for a couple hundred attendees.
In all, this year’s challenge drew 10,555 riders at 1,290 workplaces, biking a collective 1.2 million miles. (Memo to the “freight community” from the “cyclist community”: that’s a lot of reduced road maintenance. We assume your check’s in the mail?)
Among employers with 25 or more workers, the highest bike commuting rate went to repeat champion Watershed Sciences, Inc., with an inspiring 79 percent bike commute rate for its 63 employees.
Participation in the annual September challenge was actually down for the second year in a row (it peaked in 2011 at 12,063), though it’s hard to say how much was due to a rainy month or other factors.
And the winners? As usual, a handful of workplace teams under 25 employees managed heroic 100% bike commute rates: Sticky, Cast Iron Coding, OHSU’s Market Square Building’s 5th floor, Measureful, PedalPT, Kohles Bioengineering, HoltzReport, Boont Rocks!, Dr. Jeffrey D. Scher and The Copy Center at Camera Graphics.
Among bike shops, the winner was the downtown Portland Bike Gallery, with 94 percent participation among its 16 employees.
Among employers with 25 or more workers, the highest bike commuting rate went to repeat champion Watershed Sciences, Inc., with an inspiring 79 percent bike commute rate for its 63 employees. The best-performing government team was, as usual, the U.S. Geological Survey, with a 37 percent bike commute rate among 90 employees.
Daimler Trucks North America took home the prize for the team with the most newly recruited riders.
And what about the “Nerds vs Jocks” battle between the region’s two largest employers, Intel and Nike? Well, if you’re going by percentages of bike commutes among the total workforce — which, in its final tallies, the BTA does — the jocks won by a mile.
With 6,500 employees reported on its team, Nike’s 181 BCC participants logged 1,467 bike commutes for a verified rate of 1.2 percent. Intel, meanwhile, reported 12,000 total employees, 212 active riders and 1,742 trips, beating its rival on trips taken but posting a bike commute rate of just 0.8 percent.
The full standings are also on the Bike Commute Challenge’s website and were posted at Thursday’s event. But for most attendees, of course, the most important takeaway was the same as it is every year: if you don’t get to the BCC afterparty soon enough, you won’t get a slice of pizza.