The National Bike Challenge and Teams Friday Coffee Club

You may or may not know this, but the National Bike Challenge happened. The goal of the challenge was to get more people out riding their bikes and logging their miles. The League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and Endomondo sponsored the three-month event, which took place from June 1-August 31.

Specifically, the challenge sought to engage more than 50,000 riders, and hoped to accumulate a grand total of 10 million miles through everyone’s participation.

People from all parts of the United States signed up for the program via Endomondo, a rather glitchy, but mostly functional, little online social media platform designed to connect people through their physical fitness activities. Some participants also grouped up as teams.

Several of the gang from Friday Coffee Club (FCC) formed two teams: Friday Coffee Club (Team 1); and Friday Coffee Club Team 2. Team 1 was composed of 10 members, and Team 2 had 7. Other FCC members participated in the challenge, too, but not on the FCC teams. By the way, you are a member of Friday Coffee Club simply by showing up Friday morning at Swing’s for coffee.

I admit I did not pay much attention to this challenge during the time it was happening, but I did make the effort to log my miles at the end of each month. After the challenge ended, I went back to see:

  1. If the overall National Bike Challenge met its goals; and
  2. How our FCC teams fared.

Overall Challenge Results

By September 1, the number of riders who participated in the National Bike Challenge had reached 30,397, which is over 19,000 riders shy of the overall rider goal of 50,000.

However, the riders who signed up rode their bikes more than 12 million miles, far greater than the 10 million miles laid out by the challenge.

The challenge awarded points based not only on the number of miles a person rode per day, but also the number of days ridden. Riders earned one point for each mile ridden and 20 points for each day they rode.

Of all the states participating, D.C. came in 4th out of 51 in the challenge. Pretty good considering we are not even a state (though I’m ecstatic the challenge included us separately. I can’t stand it when we’re omitted from these things.).

State plus D.C.’s Rankings in the Challenge

Overall, the Friday Coffee Club teams logged 21,898 miles across its 17 participants over three months. Yeah!

I then looked to see how Teams FCC had done compared to others in our “community.” The challenge defined our community as Washington, Arlington, and Alexandria.

We had 719 participants in our community, and our area’s overall population was estimated at 4,276,661. That means that .017 percent of the population in our “community” participated in the National Bike Challenge. That’s TINY!

Nevertheless, 719 is still something, ok? And when I looked further to see how Teams Friday Coffee Club performed compared to other teams, I was pleasantly surprised. We came in ranked at number 7 and 12, out of a total of 90 area teams.

FCC Team 1 ranking in DC Metro Region

FCC Team 2 Ranking in the DC Metro Region

The other part about this challenge that made me smile is that our FCC teams were composed predominantly of commuting cyclists. We’re not club riders or amateur racers, though a few of us do enjoy a long ride or two on the weekends. We’re just people who like to drink coffee (or tea) and ride our bikes for transportation and recreation.

Way to go, Friday Coffee Club! Thanks to those who participated on our teams, including Tweeps: @dailyrandonneur, @zoeplaugher, @rootchopper, @bilsko, @ramblingrider, @lkono, @grafxnerd, @sharrowsDC, @darsal, @JDAntos, @bicyclebug, Keith R (don’t have the twitter handle), @MidAtlanticBike, @ebooksyearn, @crossvino, and @girlonabikedc. If I did not include something about the National Bike Challenge experience that you’d like to add, please do so below!

I wish we’d come up with a logo, but maybe next time. Or maybe having a logo is counter to the essence of Friday Coffee Club. I’m not sure.

So what about you, readers? Anybody else out there participate in the National Bike Challenge? If so, did you fly solo or with a team? I’d like to hear how the challenge went for you…

See you at Friday Coffee Club! 7:30-9:00 a.m., Swing’s Coffee. 1702 G Street NW, just west of Ye Olde Executive Office Building. Be there!

12 replies

  1. Great job Friday Coffee Club teams! I had fun with the National Bike Challenge. It was one of 5 different challenges/programs like this that I did this season. The web site was okay, but I’m happy that I don’t have to enter miles in yet another system. I liked seeing other people riding in the area virtually. 😀 It was fun.


  2. Wow, terrific finish. I was on Oxon Hill Team 3, just a bit below FCC 1. It was a fun challenge. I believe the purpose was to encourage biking for transportation, and I wondered throughout if those participating were already dedicated transportation bikers – or did the Challenge really bring in some new folks? Just a thought….


    • Well done to you as well! I had the same question about if the challenge brought in new riders, especially given that they fell so far short of the rider goal.


Comments welcome - moderated for spam - but please write if you like!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s