be presented to workplaces with
the most dedicated bike commuters.
Well over a hundred biking fans packed City Hall’s courtyard with their vehicles and stepped inside for beer and pizza Thursday night to celebrate the end of the annual Bike Commute Challenge.
The event run by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance drew 10,350 participants this year from 1,190 workplaces in a friendly competition that saw the most dedicated commuters logging more than 1,000 miles during September. In all, participants logged 1,212,271 miles of bike commuting this year.
“At the same time as you saved money on gas, you saved our communities money on road maintenance,” BTA Deputy Director Steph Noll said.
Here are the winners of the month-long event:
Businesses and nonprofits, 1 employee:
all at 100 percent bike commuting for the month
- – Boont Rocks!
– Dr. Jeffrey D. Sher
– Oregon Walks
– The People’s Accountant
– P-Town Design
– Jeffrey Trull
Businesses and nonprofits, 2-4 employees:
- – Pedal PT, 100%
Businesses and nonprofits, 5-24 employees:
- – Cast Iron Coding, 100%
Businesses and nonprofits, 25-99 employees:
- – Alta Planning + Design, 78%
Businesses and nonprofits, 100-499 employees:
- – Quantum Spacial, 54%
Businesses and nonprofits, 500+ employees:
- – Reed College, 10%
Public agencies, 1-24 employees:
- – OHSU Pharmacy, 77%
Public agencies, 25-99 employees:
- – Multnomah County Lincoln Building, 42%
Public agencies, 100-499 employees:
- – City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 33%
Public agencies, 500+ employees:
- – Portland State Office Building, 11%
Bike shops, 1-8 employees:
- – Sugar Wheel Works, 97%
Bike shops, 9-15 employees:
- – Bike Gallery downtown, 90%
Bike shops, 16+ employees:
- – Citybikes, 43%
Team with most new riders:
- – Nike, 49 new riders
Team with most mileage:
- – Daimler Trucks North America, 27,108 miles
Individual with the most miles:
- – Kyle Carlson, Daimler Trucks North America, 1,144 miles (that’s 52 per weekday)
The BTA also honored Will Cortez of Vernier Software and Technology with its “Brad Buchanan Team Captain of the Year Award.”
In preparation for the party, the BTA needed to haul in six kegs of beer from Hopworks Urban Brewery. BTA volunteer Joel Finkelstein coordinated a team of volunteers to bring it in by cargo bike and trailer — and, in the case of Northwest Skate Coalition founder Cory Poole, one longboard cargo trailer:
(Photo: Sarah Newsum/Bicycle Transportation Alliance)
But one less happy trend showed up in the night’s numbers that’s worth noting: like so many things in the world of Portland biking, the Bike Commute Challenge has stopped growing. In fact, the number of participants is down 14 percent from its 2011 peak, the number of workplaces down 18 percent.
Noll said the same factors that have caused a “plateau” in city bike counts were leading to a plateau in BCC participation and that “investment in bike infrastructure and programs” would be needed to increase BCC participation.
“That’s beyond the ability of this program to change,” she said.
Another factor, Noll said, could be the BTA’s donation solicitation when people sign up for the challenge, which requires people to either contribute to the BTA or enter “$0” in the “other amount” box in order to participate. That was added in 2012 after the state eliminated transportation programs from the Business Energy Tax Credit. Noll said participants use that opportunity to contribute thousands of dollars each year that are needed to make the challenge possible in its current form.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.