Biking burns calories. And biking to work both saves money and reduces carbon emissions.
What’s not to love?
That's the idea behind the National Bike Challenge, a new competition organized by the League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Endomondo that encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation. The goal of the program is to unite 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles.
Members of Temple’s biking community have happily hopped on for the ride.
Riders participate either as individuals or as part of a team. They then log their miles either on the competition's website or through the Endomondo app for smartphones.
Since the Challenge began on May 1, Temple commuters have logged enough total miles on their bikes to equal five complete round trips from Main Campus to London’s Olympic Stadium, with enough miles left over to make it back for the closing ceremonies.
That’s four full round trips more than was logged by Penn bikers, and five more than Drexel participants. Currently, Temple is ranked 13th in the nation in the workplace category.
Temple’s primary sponsor for the event is the Greater Philadelphia Bike Coalition. Bike Temple and the Office of Sustainability have also been involved, helping to recruit team captains and encouraging Temple faculty, staff and students to sign up.
For Shannon O’Brien, director of academic advising at Temple’s Academic Resource Center, joining the challenge and becoming a part of Temple’s team was a no-brainer. O’Brien makes her four-mile round-trip commute to Temple year round.
“I love biking. It’s the most convenient form of transportation in a city,” she said. “If there is construction, you can still go through. If there is traffic, you can avoid it. I wouldn’t want to commute any other way.”
School of Media and Communications team captain Bruce Byker James enjoys what he calls the “whole body experience” of biking.
“You get your mind going by getting your body going,” he said.
The competition has been a big plus for Glenn Eck, superintendent of the Grounds Department, proving to him that biking long distances is not impossible.
“I have a 36-mile round-trip commute,” said Eck, who has been biking to Main Campus since 1999. “I used to take a day off once in a while, but this competition has changed my riding habits and made me push the envelope a little."
As the competition draws to a close on August 31, Temple bikers can look back on their summer with pride.
“It’s been fun to see the involvement of everyone at Temple," said Eck. "It’s fantastic how successful, serious and diligent we’ve all been. I’m ready for next year.”