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Over 11,000 people took the ‘Bike More Challenge’ last month

Posted by on June 9th, 2016 at 11:44 am

The team from Daimler Trucks NA.(Photo: B-line Sustainable Urban Delivery)

The team from Daimler Trucks NA.
(Photo: B-line Sustainable Urban Delivery)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) wrapped up their 19th annual Bike More Challenge with a big party last night in southeast Portland.

This was the first year the friendly competition was held in May instead of September. The BTA made the move to encourage more people to keep biking through the summer, but it looks like the warm and sunny weather also boosted overall participation. A look at the final numbers shows that about 1,000 more participants were coaxed into the event than in previous years.

This year’s Challenge had 11,741 total riders who biked 1,656,098 miles. That’s up from 10,722 riders and 1,247,886 miles in 2015 and 10,350 riders and 1,212,271 miles in 2014.

Of course a major difference this year was that participants could log all trips, not just work commutes.

The Challenge is also about encouraging people to give daily biking a try for the first time. 1,959 participants said they were new bike riders this year, that’s up from just over 1,300 last year. Participants were also given extra points if they encouraged a new rider to sign up and log trips. The winner of the new Top Encourager Award, Sierra Callahan, persuaded 38 new riders. Just imagine if everyone who works at a big company did that.

Here are the other teams and individuals who took home top honors at the awards ceremony last night:

Team with the most points, 500+ staff: Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), 221,149 points
Team with the most points, 200-499 staff: Quantum Spacial, 55,259 points
Team with the most points, 50-199 staff: SERA Architects, 36,131 points
Team with the most points, 20-49 staff: Alta Planning + Design, 21,756 points
Team with the most points, 7-19 staff: Portland Pedal Power, 10,077 points
Team with the most points, 3-6 staff: Metropolis Cycle Repair, 5,942 points
Female with the most miles: Jessica Wesling, 1,215 miles
Male with the most miles: Chuck Swanda, 4,190 miles
New Female rider with the most miles: Darcie McIntosh, 417 miles
New Male rider with the most miles: Michael Turnauer, 928 miles
Top Encourager: Sierra Callahan, 38 people encouraged
Brad Buchanan Team Captain of the Year: Zachary Horowitz, Kittleson and Associates, Inc.

See how your company stacked up in the full results at BikeMoreChallenge.com.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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12 Comments
  • Spiffy June 9, 2016 at 11:53 am

    our company was in the top 5 under OHSU, our department was in the 50’s… it’s nice to see full racks in the bike parking area at work and other bike traffic on my commute…

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  • J.E. June 9, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    As someone who lives too close to work to justify cycling there most days, I really appreciated the “all trips” inclusive nature of this year’s event. I usually cycle 2-4 days a week, so I set a goal for myself of hopping on my bike and cycling somewhere every day in May. There were a few last-second 11pm trips around the neighborhood to pull this off, but I did it!

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  • ricochet June 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    the trip count contest was on the website, but absent from the event last night.

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  • Rob Chapman June 9, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Hi fives Metropolis!

    It’s really cool to see Daimler do so well considering that they build big trucks. Nice work.

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    • Joe Adamski June 9, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Team Daimler would do even better were there safe access to the 10,000 + jobs on the Island. UPS, Daimler,Vigor,FedEx,PCC and a multitude of smaller businesses would all benefit from a safer, more usable route-like, say, the North Portland Willamette Greenway Trail. Which, btw, isn’t built yet.
      Time to get hopping!

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    • Evan June 10, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks for kudos, Rob! We sure tried! We ended up with over 11% participation which we’re super proud of. We had half of OHSU’s points with one fifth the employees.

      To Joe’s point: I agree completely. I continue to be bummed by the poor bike access once you make it down to the island. You need a full suspension mountain bike to ride on the sidewalks down here and a lot of them end abruptly, forcing you into the truck traffic.

      Hopefully with Daimler’s new building up and running we will see more demand for proper bike amenities on the “island”, including safe access via the Cement road or separated pathway by Greeley.

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  • Capizzi June 10, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Chuck Swanda averaged 135 miles/day! That is a lot of food. Where is the safe route where you can maintain speed?

    Congratulations Chuck, I think that is a national record.

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    • Doug Rosser June 10, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Nicole from the BTA actually mentioned chatting with him by phone. Evidently, he’s one of those guys who only sleeps a few hours a night so he gets up at 2AM every day and rides Highway 30 to Rainier and back **before** going to work.

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    • bob snow June 11, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      I’d like to see some Strava or any data to back up this claim.

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      • Mike Untz June 15, 2016 at 7:15 am

        You mean like on the 16th where he rode 75 miles for fun, 25+25 for a meeting, and then – oh, for the sheer heck of it! – rode another 120 miles? You’re pushing 250 miles in one day plus going to work? Right.

        Never mind how every ride is an even 0 or 5.

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      • bradwagon June 17, 2016 at 10:58 am

        There isn’t any, because this dude does not ride this much.

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        • Capizzi February 2, 2017 at 4:10 pm

          I haven’t talked to Chuck, but the logistics of biking this much are really complicated. Apart from having no rest day for a month and very little rest each day, it just seems emotionally/mentally brutal. In previous Bike Challenges I took less rest than I normally would’ve, that is, I took the long route to work each day instead of 3 days a week. I only counted going to and from work, and I had my work papers/clothes 10-15 lbs in a pannier. I had nine punctures the last time I did this and went thru 5 tires. I got hit by cars twice and got hypothermia. I worked 9-hour work days, and I was tired before I started riding home. You run out of time to metabolize food — you can’t live on road food. I learned a lot by using the Bike Challenge to test myself — it wasn’t a competition for me against others. It made me mentally stronger, but nobody is going to get physically stronger riding this much, it just breaks you down. I don’t doubt Chuck, I just would like to know how he did it.

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