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Reasons to Ride the National Bike Challenge (Even if you don't need reasons to ride. . .)
The National Bike Challenge is a great motivational tool for riders returning to cycling. Some of those riders are posting their stories and goals in the home page comment feed, if you want an inspiring read. If you’re already riding regularly, logging your rides makes you eligible for some great prizes, and may inspire you to a few more miles or another trip each week.
But some cyclists I talk to say that cycling is already a major part of their lives, and they don’t need the motivation of the prizes to get them on the road. Why then should they bother to sign up, and take the time to log miles on a regular basis? Here are a few of the answers I give:
The National Bike Challenge is a great opportunity to make a statement about the impact of cycling nationwide. We’ve already logged nearly a million miles in the warm-up period. Our four-month Challenge goal is 10 million miles, which would be an awesome testament to the role of cycling in transportation and recreation, one that cycling advocates can use in advocating for better laws to protect cyclists, or new investments in infrastructure. If cycling is already a major part of your life, your miles will help us get to our goal more quickly, and make our case more forcefully.
We’ll also be tracking miles by state and community. Your miles logged for Springfield will help keep Shelbyville humble. (Here are a few real-life rivalries to watch -- Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland, Georgia vs. South Carolina, and Wisconsin vs. all comers.)
Participating in the Challenge will reconnect you with the thrill you felt when you first started riding regularly. You can read the stories on the homepage, or follow other news arising from the challenge as we highlight people who are changing their lives one ride at a time. If you join the Challenge, then bring friends or co-workers on board, you can play a direct role in changing both individual lives and the transportation culture of your community. Think of it as Bike to Work Day extended to four months - enough time for lasting change in commuting habits to take hold.
You can use the Challenge leaderboard to connect with other cyclists at your level. You can see who has a similar number of points in your state or community, and connect through the Endomondo platform. You can then ride together or just trade stories about how you rode to 1500 points, or how you inspired three co-workers to become regular bike commuters.
So even if you don't need any motivation to get up and ride, please join the Challenge and play a part in this four-month celebration of cycling.