Do you like healthy competition with coworkers? Riding your bike? Fabulous prizes? If you said yes to any of those, the Atlanta Bike Challenge is for you. And let’s face it, there’s never been a better time to take up biking in Atlanta. In the past, riding in the city seemed about as risky as slathering yourself in chum and diving into shark-infested waters — and just about as appealing. But things are changing. The city’s bike infrastructure is growing fast and bike safety along with it. Over the next three years, Atlanta will add 120 miles of bike lanes, multi-use trails, and cycle tracks. That growth is thanks, in part, to PeopleForBikes Green Lane Project, which helps selected cities to install and pay for protected bike lanes, but let’s not underestimate the importance of the BeltLine’s trails, the PATH Foundation’s ever-expanding reach, and an upcoming bike-share program with 500 bikes. Statistically, more cyclists means a higher awareness of bikes on the road, which ultimately leads to a reduction in accidents. The Atlanta Bike Challenge wants to prove how fun and safe biking can be by asking you to ride just 10 minutes a day.
The Atlanta Bike Challenge pits company against company, employee against employee for a bit of friendly competition. But don’t worry, it’s not just for hardcore cyclists — quite the opposite really. Newbie bikers have extra opportunities for prizes and participation takes just 10 minutes a day. The goal is simply to get people used to riding regularly for fun, exercise, or commuting. So far, 180 organizations and 1,210 people have signed up.
How It Works
Register for free with the name of your company then get your colleagues on board. Ride a little each day from Sunday, September 28 (at the last Streets Alive event of the year or elsewhere) through October 19. You can log your rides, check your stats, set goals, and give your teammates virtual high fives on the Challenge website.
Throughout the three-week challenge, WellATL will be featuring articles on safety, fun routes, and bike tips, and the coordinators of the Challenge (Georgia Commute Options, PeopleForBikes, and Love To Ride) will be hosting a variety of events. Try-a-bike sessions, for example, are opportunities for beginners to borrow a bike and get trained by a qualified cycling instructor in a safe, non-terrifying off-road environment. Bike Trains will let you commute in a group so that you can get to know other riders and discuss safe routes. The Decatur to Downtown Bike Train is October 3, the Virginia-Highland to Downtown is October 10, and Westside to Downtown is October 17.
There are prizes galore to be won. If you’re a new rider or if you convince another new rider to hop on a bike, you could score some movie passes (they have nearly 200 to give away). The person who gets the most non-cyclists involved will score a signed Falcons jersey. Simply riding to to work enters you into drawings for stuff like a $750 credit toward a new bike of your choice from Outback Bikes or Loose Nuts Cycles. There are also a TON of random drawings just for participating. The list of prizes is long and includes gift certificates from Decatur Bikes, Highland Bakery, The Porter, Farmburger, Noni’s Deli, Taco Mac, Meehan’s, and many others. There are also passes to Skyview, Andretti’s Karting, Torq Cycle, Atlanta Movie Tours, Atlanta Rocks! Indoor Climbing Gym, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Do you plan to participate? If you’re a newbie cyclist who’s trying to start biking regularly, please share your story.