OAKLAND, CA — However you measure Team Bike Challenge’s impact — whether it’s the number of people who participated, the amount of green miles cycled, the pounds of carbon dioxide removed from the air or the aggregate calories burned — the friendly competition that attracts commuters from across the nine-county Bay Area logged some impressive numbers in 2015. A total of 11,724 Bay Area residents were inspired to take part in the month-long cycling competition that pays big dividends for the environment and their own good health, a 22 percent increase over the 9,630 who participated in TBC in 2014 and reportedly an all-time high for the program. While many were hardcore cyclists, some were novices who were trying bicycle commuting for the first time.
The number of riders who committed to riding their bikes to and from work, as well as for errands, shopping and the like, throughout the month of May tells only part of the story. By the close of competition on May 31, over 1,600 teams (compared to 1,370 in 2014), each composed of up to five riders and representing 535 local companies, logged an incredible 481,734 miles — saving over 400,000 pounds of CO2 and burning close to 20 million calories.
Adding a new twist to the competition, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf challenged San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to a Bike-Off, to see which of the two cities’ employees could log the most miles during the month of May. Both mayors sit on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), a presenting sponsor of the region’s annual Bike to Work program that includes Team Bike Challenge.
“Bike commuting is an inexpensive and healthy commute option that supports our goals of reducing congestion and air pollution in our region,” said Mayor Schaaf. “As a new mayor and new member of the MTC, this friendly challenge with Mayor Liccardo was a fun way to promote Bike to Work Month and show people the benefits of the no-pollute commute. I’m thrilled to celebrate the hardworking Oakland and San Jose employees who together biked over 10,000 miles over the course of the month, and I want to especially acknowledge the employees at our Oakland libraries who did more than their share to make sure Oakland came out on top in this year’s Mayors’ Challenge.”
City employees in Oakland and San Jose lived up to the challenge by racking up impressive numbers — Oakland with 7,110 miles biked and San Jose with 2,622 miles. While Oakland won the bragging rights for this year, San Jose has pledged to come back even stronger in 2016.
“Everyone who participates in Team Bike Challenge is a winner,” said Mayor Liccardo. “The Bay Area benefits from the savings of harmful emissions and participants gain the health benefits of increased physical activity.”
Team Bike Challenge Winners
When all the tallying was done, San Francisco’s partycar.com team (2014’s second place winner) won the regionwide team competition with an incredible 9,274 miles biked and 398,761 calories burned. The individual winner in the Team Bike Challenge competition was the remarkable Peter Chang, also from partycar.com, who rode 3,114 miles and burned a whopping 133,898 calories. Second place in the regional team competition went to the Resolvers from Santa Clara County, with 6,425 miles and 276,266 calories burned. Third place went to Sun Blinding, also of Santa Clara County (also 2014’s third place winner), with 3,659 miles biked and 157,255 calories expended.
Partycar.com also dominated the individuals’ competition, with team captain Peter Colijn coming in second place (2,132 miles and 91,667 calories) and team member Cordelia Link taking third (1,626 miles and 69,897 calories).
Company Bike Challenge Winners
In addition to the individuals and team competitions, the Company Bike Challenge also plays a key role in getting employees motivated and inspired to commute by bike. Corporate participation is a huge part of what makes Team Bike Challenge and Bike to Work Day a success, and the Company Bike Challenge results show what a difference that can make.
For the fifth year in a row, the competition in the large company category (over 300 employees) was won by Apple, Inc. with 824 employees participating. Apple employees tallied an impressive 40,135 miles biked during the month of May, earning them the top spot in the competition. Caltrans District 4 came in second place followed by Tesla Motors.
And big does not always mean better, for there were fantastic showings in the medium-company (50-300 employees) and small-company (1-50 employees) competitions as well. Marmot Mountain LLC won the medium size race with 5,894 miles biked, ahead of second-place winner Sun Light and Power and third-place finisher LitePoint. The small company competition was won by kW Engineering, logging 3,680 miles, followed by Alexa Internet in second and IBM Watson, Redwood City in third.
Team Bike Challenge is presented by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District with support from the Canary Challenge as part of the annual regional Bike to Work Day program sponsored by MTC and Kaiser Permanente.
In addition to MTC (the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area), 511 (the region’s traveler information system) and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day 2015 received regional support from the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, KPIX5, Clear Channel Outdoor, Bay Area Bike Share and Clif Bar, as well as from many sponsors at the local level. Prizes are donated by REI, Chipotle, Mike’s Bikes, Public Bikes and Monkeylectric. The event is made possible through the cooperation of thousands of volunteers, county congestion management agencies, local jurisdictions, local bicycling coalitions and the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition.
Hallie Baron, BABC 415-793-7435
Leslie Lara, MTC 510-817-5813