Marin

Marin County

Bay Area’s Team Bike Challenge Shatters Records

Olympic Club cyclists
Mai Le —

OAKLAND, CA, June 4, 2014 – In a competition to bike the most miles possible in order to rack up points for the team, 2014’s Team Bike Challenge shattered records as more than 9,630 San Francisco Bay Area bike commuters pedaled over half a million miles in May. Team Bike Challenge is part of the annual Bike to Work Day Program that happens during National Bike Month in May.

An astounding 1,370 teams took part in this year’s Team and Company Bike Challenges, nearly 350 more teams compared to 2013. Additionally, there was a nearly 280 percent increase in individual participation compared to only 3,454 individuals registered in 2013. For the Company Bike Challenge, 443 companies registered to compete, a 25 percent increase from 2013. In the end, a total of 572,871 miles were biked — enough to circle the Earth 23 times over — while saving 286 tons of CO2 and burning over 35 million calories. Winners represent the wide range of bicycling enthusiasts in the Bay Area.

As in years past, a Santa Clara County team was number one in both the regional and county contests. This time it was United Velo, which beat out other contenders by cycling over 9,200 miles. Second place in the regional competition went to San Francisco’s Partycar.com, with an awe-inspiring 7,490 miles. Santa Clara County’s Sun Blinding–Head Winders took third place by pedaling over 3,600 miles. All three teams garnered 465 points.

In the Company Bike Challenge, Apple, Inc. in Santa Clara County continued their domination by continuing their first-place winning streak — unbroken since 2010 — in the Large Company category. With 660 employees participating, Apple amassed over 51,000 miles and racked up 6,264 points. Sun Light & Power of Alameda County won first place in the Medium Company category, cycling 6,908 miles and earning 1,039 points. In a tight race for the Small Company category win, kW Engineering once again emerged victorious with 3,142 miles, 548 points and an impressive 1,110 total trips.

There has been an increase in interest and participation from both individuals and companies in Team Bike Challenge as the San Francisco Bay Area becomes more and more committed to active transportation and residents become aware of the health benefits of bicycling.

Team Bike Challenge is presented by Typekit and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District with support from Canary Challenge. The San Francisco Bay Area's 2014 Team Bike Challenge is part of the annual Bike to Work Day Program made possible through the generous support of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511.org and Kaiser Permanente in partnership with the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition. Additional support is provided by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Clear Channel, Clif Bar, Beyond Pix, Adobe, Revolights, REI, the San Francisco Bay Trail Project and Public Bikes.

20 Years of Bike to Work Day

Ken Eichstaedt in SF, by Natalie Orenstein

Ken Eichstaedt has always biked to work – even when “work” meant simple arithmetic problems and playground games of kickball. The Marin County native treasures a photograph of his four-year-old self bundled up in a hooded coat, pedaling a tricycle. By age seven, Ken’s primary and preferred mode of transportation was the bicycle – and decades later nothing has changed.

Now a civil engineer in San Francisco, Ken has participated in all 20 Bike to Work Days. For Ken, cycling is the panacea. It’s his doctor, his desk, his social life, his gym.

“You can ride a bike and it can solve all your problems,” he explains. “You’re trying to contemplate something? Ride a bike. You’re trying to save money? Ride a bike. You’re trying to lose weight? Want to meet people? Want to treat the environment right? Ride a bike.”

Ken has been biking to his job in San Francisco from his home in Marin for 24 years. He’s lived in Mill Valley, in Fairfax, and now in the tiny community of Olema, so his commute has grown with each move. But he still manages to bike a significant portion of it most mornings, averaging more than 20 miles a day.

Since much of the workday is spent in meetings, Ken especially values the company of other cyclists during the commute. He meets up with his companions in Greenbrae and they ride into the city together.

“We get a good chin wag in, have safety in numbers, and ride responsibly by waiting at lights and riding single file when conditions dictate,” he says. Together, the crew logged over 5,000 bike trips to the city in 2013.

Of course, not everyone has the time or stamina to bike 100 miles a week. And Ken – the former president of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, a past member of the Caltrain Bike Advisory Committee, and a major force in the successful effort to get bike lanes in Sausalito – knows this. Really.

“What I try to encourage people to do is, just go to the grocery store,” he says. “You don’t need to wear special gear, you don’t need a fancy bike. Do a two-mile bike trip and you’ll be amazed.”

Ken had the fortune of meeting former Palo Alto mayor Ellen Fletcher shortly before she died in 2012. In her 80s, Fletcher encouraged her friends at her retirement home to hop on bikes.

“People like that, they help you see another way about things,” he says.

Ken himself takes the ferry home after a long day at work, and endorses riding a bike to public transit.
“There isn’t any place in the Bay Area you can’t get to non-motorized,” he says. “You do have to do a little bit of preplanning, which I think is a healthy thing.”

As the toddler on the tricycle, or the kid riding to elementary schools, it wasn’t the promise of lost weight or saved money that got Ken pedaling.

“It was the sense of freedom,” he remembers. “It’s still the same way. When I ride across the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning, I feel totally blessed. Independence is the big thing.”

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Team Bike Challenge 2013

Kaiser Permanente cyclists
Mai Le —

In a fierce competition to bike as many commute miles as possible while racking up points that depend on an algorithm of team work and amount of trips taken; Bike to Work Day’s 2013 Team Bike Challenge broke records as 7249 Bay Area commuters rode over a million miles in May.

There were a record number of 1029 teams with 7249 individuals registered as part of 2013’s Team and Company Bike Challenges. This was a large jump from the 4,425 registered in 2012. Additionally, 356 companies participated in Company Bike Challenge, 30% more than 2012’s 249. A total of 1,126,332 miles were biked, a leap over 2012’s 701,710 miles during the same time period. The distance ridden was enough to circle the world 45 times over while saving 563 tons of CO2 and peddling 69,229,154 worth of calories.

Regional winners represent the wide range of bicycling enthusiasts in the Bay Area. Santa Clara County’s Tsunami of Hurt, was number 1 in both the regional and county team bike challenge contests with an impressive 462 points and 3,611.4 miles; second place in the region goes to Santa Clara County’s KTCC 7 with 456 points and an awe-inspiring 6,103.6 miles; San Francisco County’s Partycar.com blew everyone away by bicycling 8,466 miles throughout the month, coming in third place with 445 points. Partycar.com, also had the two highest mileage individuals on their team: Ramesh G rode 2,646.6 miles and Peter Chang, 2,394.0 miles. Taking third place in the individual contest, Daniel Ferriera of overall number 1 team, Tsunami of Hurt, cycled 2,133.3 miles.

In Company Bike Challenge, Apple in Santa Clara continued their domination. Consistently winning first place since 2010, in the large company category, they beat out the other 98 large companies in their category. Employees cycled 43,079 miles and earned 4,905 points. In the medium company category, Sun Light & Power of Alameda County covered 7,132 miles, winning 1,066 points. In the small company category, kW Engineering won with 2,729 miles, 509 points, and their ace in the hole, 1074 total trips.

This year’s interest and participation of both individuals and companies in increasing their bicycle commuting through a month-long challenge competition speaks to the Bay Area’s commitment to active transportation and the health benefits of bicycling.

The San Francisco Bay Area's 2013 Team Bike Challenge is a program of Bike to Work Day and is made possible through the generous support of: 511.org, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and Kaiser Permanente. Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Clif Bar, Beyond Pix, Typekit, Balance Bar, Adobe, Revolights, REI, Public Bikes, Joshu Vela, ModCloth, and MonkeyLectric provide additional support for Bike to Work Day.

@ICC Sevathon
Mai Le —

(April 16, 2013) In less than a month, tens of thousands of Bay Area commuters will take to the road and trails as part of San Francisco Bay Area’s 19th Annual Bike to Work Day. On Thursday, May 9th, the largest event in California that encourages bike commuting as a fun, affordable form of transportation that supports better health every day takes place throughout the nine counties. Over the last 19 years, Bike to Work Day has put more people on the road to bike commuting than any other event in the Bay Area.

Presented by 511.org, MTC and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day is the largest of many events during National Bike Month in May. Events include Team Bike Challenge where teams clock miles biked during May for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights. A Bike Commuter of the Year award is presented in each county for dedicated commuters, these individuals are inspiring bicycling in their community by example. (Nominations close April 22nd.)

Biking to work is a great way to get physical activity in before a workday. In addition to the heart health benefits, a Japanese study in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health showed that men engaged in leisure-time exercise and cycling during commuting to work may be associated with better mental health.

Employers also benefit by encouraging employees to bike to work. Biking to work builds morale, reduces the number of sick days and the demand for car parking. Bike to Work Day will see hundreds of volunteers staff energizer stations throughout the SF Bay Area, offering complimentary refreshments, official reusable canvas bags, bicycle information and encouragement to push on.

Throughout May and on May 9th community events will be held by local bicycle coalitions and traffic congestion agencies throughout San Francisco, Sonoma, Solano, Napa, East Bay, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Silicon Valley and Alameda counties. For a complete list of stations and to register for a chance to win a Public Bikes bike, a Joshu Vela bag with MonkeyLectric lights or a ModCloth gift certificate visit the Bike to Work Day website.

Team Bike Challenge Officially Kicks Off for 2011

Photo by reneealiciajohnson@gmail.com
Ami Sampat —

May is National Bike Month- So join a team and win some prizes.

Bike to Work’s Team Bike Challenge officially kicks off on May 1st, 2011, and registration is now open. Gather your friends, neighbors, and coworkers and pedal to win. It’s a fun and easy way to see just how much biking does for your health, budget, and the environment.

Here is how it works: form a team of 2-5 people and sign up at www.teambikechallenge.org. Earn points for each bike ride you take and your total daily mileage. Record your information via the website. Compete with your friends through the personalized Facebook Friends Leader board. You can also earn bonus points for completing various medal challenges, such as biking enough miles to burn a total pizza’s worth of calories. At the end of the month, the team with the most amounts of points wins.

Every member of a top scoring team from each county will receive a bike prize valued over $50. The top scoring team in the Bay Area receives a bike prize valued over $1,000.

The biking doesn’t have to stop when the Team Bike Challenge ends on May 31st arrives. You can still compete as an individual all year round by logging in your miles on the website. Track your total bike commuting benefits, including miles biked, calories burned, gas money saved, and pollution prevented. Bike your way to the top of the leader boards! Every month we will have a new leader board, so you can compete to be the top commuter each month.

If your business is too big to fit onto one team, then join the Company Bike Challenge. Compete for top honors against similar sized companies.

So log on to www.teambikechallenge.org, register, and join the fun. Happy biking!

A special thanks to this year’s regional sponsors for Bike to Work Day: 511.org, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Kaiser Permanente, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Beyond Pix Studios, Clif Bar, REI, Adobe, and Bay Area Bicycle Coalition.
For more information on Bike to Work Day, please visit www.511.org or www.youcanbikethere.com.