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BTA staff heads to the bridges to boost ‘Bike Commute Challenge’

Posted by on September 18th, 2014 at 9:38 am

BTA staff promoting Bike Commute Challenge-1

BTA staffers Amanda Lee Harrison (yellow cap) and Sarah Newsum offering cookies and encouragement to bike commuters in the rain this morning on the Broadway Bridge.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’re more than half way through the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Bike Commute Challenge and the organization is pulling out all the stops to encourage riders to sign up and log their trips.

The Challenge is a friendly competition where workplaces sign up and compete against each other to see who can log the most trips. So far this year over 9,000 riders from 1,126 teams are taking part. As of this morning they’ve logged a total 623,179 miles.

To get even more people involved, BTA Communications Assistant Sarah Newsum and Bike Commute Challenge Program Assistant Amanda Lee Harrison were out on the Broadway Bridge this morning (despite the light rain) holding signs and passing out cookies and bike bells. As dozens of riders backed up at the bike signal on the west end of the bridge at the Lovejoy ramp, Newsum and Lee Harrison offered their gifts while reminding/encouraging everyone to log into the Challenge website.

BTA staff promoting Bike Commute Challenge-2

Lee Harrison trudged through bike traffic to get the point across.

The Bike Commute Challenge has become a very successful program for the BTA. It not only encourages more people to ride bikes more often, but it also introduces the organization to new potential corporate and individual supporters. To help make this the largest event ever, Newsum says they plan to continue the “Meet the BTA staff on the bridges” promotion next week.

Is your workplace taking part in this competition? We’ve noticed lots of full bike racks downtown and there’s a noticeable uptick in bike traffic around the central city.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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bryan
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bryan

Bank of the Cascades doubled the number of riders this year, and have riders in Bend, Portland and Eugene.

F.W. de Klerk
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F.W. de Klerk

Ohhh look at those awful bright headlights a couple of those riders are using.

dan
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dan

LOL, my coworker told off these two nice ladies because he hates to share the bike lanes with the 15 day a year riders that come out for Bike Commute Challenge. He said they looked rather crestfallen.

Lenny Anderson
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Lenny Anderson

Daimler riders are shooting for “around the world” 25K miles!

Matt
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Matt

Dang it, I missed cookies? : I ride that bridge every morning. I have to get my timing down better for these events. I am at 100% Challenge participation and 340 miles. I deserve a cookie.

Jason Brune
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Jason Brune

I was going to say the same thing. Nobody is ever around with cookies, coffee, or bells at 6am.

Frank
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Frank

I support any effort to encourage bike commuting, but imagine that you are out of shape and haven’t ridden a bike since high school. Is this the kind of thing that would get you to try bike commuting? I started riding four or five years ago because one summer day I was riding the bus. We were packed in like cattle, it was hot and someone’s armpit was in my face. I looked out the window and saw some pudgy guy like me in street clothes on a bike. It looked SO much more pleasant. I bought a bike and have never looked back: I now commute year-round by bike.

Things that did NOT encourage me, and turned me off from trying it? Gear-heads in Lycra, looking like they are sponsored on the way to work. Expensive bikes and bike clothes. Total jocks on bikes. Hipsters. Riders running red lights (when I was driving).

Just my opinion, but it seems to me that rather than be challenged, maybe whats needed is a campaign that points out: its for everybody. Its easy. Its fun. Its relaxing. You can wear normal clothes if you want. It beats the hell out of any other transportation method. Its actually pleasant in the rain. Overweight people like me can do it (and in short order no longer overweight).