Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bike to Work Month 2011

May is here again, that means bike to work month and bike to work day, May 12th.

For the last two years I have participated in the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition's Team Bike Challenge, a friendly contest to see what teams and companies can log the most bike commutes. In 2010 I challenged myself to bike to work for every commute and did it. This year I'm planning repeat that, with the added challenge of getting 1000+ ft of climbing each day. On average at least, because some routes don't have any hills. 

Blekko is going to be well represented in the company competition (Blekko Team Standings), with almost 50% of the employees planning to participate. I think we have a good shot at placing in the small company (less than 50 employees) competition.

Last year Blekko was co-winner of Strava's own bike to work challenge taking the distance per member competition (admittedly skewed by only having two team members: Bob and me). The overall winners were our "nemesis" Google's SF2G (San Francisco to Google) club.

The Team Bike Challenge played a big part in converting me from a casual cyclist, who sometimes biked to work, into a die-hard cycle commuter. I avoid driving if at all possible. I have purchased lights for my bike (a big shout out to Light & Motion bike lights, great products) so I can commute in the dark winter months. I upgraded to an Ergon backpack to haul clothes to and from work in comfort. I have been experimenting with various waterproof shoe covers and fenders in an effort to ride even on the wettest of days. Why? because I like it, it's a habit, and I just feel better on the days that I ride. The Team Bike Challenge made this possible because, in the interest of competition, I pushed myself to bike commute more than I might have otherwise. Creating a habit that will last a lifetime.