However you think of Team Bike Challenge – a place for hardcore bike commuters to show what they’re made of, a way to lessen the impact of CO2 on the environment, or just a month-long competition that’s all about bragging rights come May 31 – riders from across the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area logged truly impressive numbers in 2017. Joining the ranks of more than 1,600 teams over Team Bike Challenge’s history, 2,536 cyclists (about the same number as 2016), 196 teams and 362 companies were inspired to take part in the month-long cycling competition that pays big dividends for the environment and their own health.
But those numbers tell only part of the story. When everything was tallied after midnight on May 31, the riders collectively logged an impressive 295,285 miles — saving over 295,000 pounds of CO2 from entering the air and burning close to 13.3 million calories in the process!
To ride in Team Bike Challenge, five individuals – friends, colleagues, family members, even strangers – join together to become a team. From May 1 through May 31 (National Bike Month), riders logged their round-trip commutes to work or school (or other destinations) through either the Team Bike Challenge app or website (teambikechallenge.com). Riders kept track of their competition, accomplished quests to keep themselves motivated and checked their mileage on the leaderboard each day. After midnight on June 2 (participants were given a two-day grace period to log any outstanding miles), the winners were displayed on the leaderboard and announced. The prize? Enviable bragging rights.
Team Bike Challenge Winners
In the overall team competition, San Francisco County took back 1st place from last year’s winner Santa Clara County when partycar.com blew away the competition with 7,400 miles ridden and 330,659 calories burned. Partycar.com, a team since 2011, won in 2015 as well, and has come in 2nd in past years. The five riders, all friends and current/former colleagues, were Captain Alexandre Passos (Google), Peter Colijn (Waymo – also captain of his company’s team, which took 3rd place in one of the Company Bike Challenge categories), Jeffrey Skokan (Macys.com), Zack Jarvis (who commuted from Pacifica to a coffee shop in Redwood City to work on a novel), and Peter Chang (Google – also this year’s 2nd overall individual winner). “My legs still hurt. I feel jet-lagged from early morning commute hours, but taking 1st place made all those long miles worth it,” said Passos, who traveled from San Francisco to Mountain View twice each day during the competition (and frequently does so outside of the competition as well).
Contra Costa County’s Tires Half Full came in 2nd place overall with 3,547 miles ridden and 172,068 calories burned. Crank Addicts from Santa Clara County took 3rd place, pedaling through 2,965 miles and 132,556 calories.
The individual competition featured cyclists who commuted amazing distances every day. San Francisco County’s Ramesh Baller took 1st place with 2,369 miles pedaled and 105,793 calories burned, followed in 2nd place by San Francisco County cyclist Peter Chang, rolling in at 2,285 miles and 102,091 calories. Third place was taken by Alameda County’s Mark Hopkins with 1,912 miles and 85,376 calories.
Company Bike Challenge Winners
Each year, 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 the success of both Team Bike Challenge and Bike to Work Day.
This year, company categories were redefined to level the proverbial playing field. Companies saw heated competition across all categories: extra-large (5,001+ local employees), large (1,001-5,000 local employees), medium (501-1,000 local employees), small (51-500 local employees) and extra-small (1-50 local employees).
Starting with the extra-large company category, Apple, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara County, once again dominated the charts. Riders collectively covered 54,253 miles and burned through 2,365,123 calories. Tesla Motors, based in Alameda County, roared into 2nd place with 21,863 miles and 945,741 calories. And Genentech in San Mateo County took 3rd place with 11,800 miles ridden and 515,491 calories expended.
In the large company category, companies in Alameda County took both 1st and 2nd places – Caltrans with 9,554 miles ridden and 424,251 calories burned, and Workday, with 9,016 miles and 372,631 calories. Infinera of Santa Clara County took 3rd place with 7,715 miles and 344,648 calories.
The medium company category crowned Sunpower of Santa Clara County, which blew the competition away with a whopping 19,397 miles and 872,562 calories burned. Ericsson Silicon Valley, also in Santa Clara County, secured 2nd place with 2,999 miles and 133,089 calories. In 3rd place, Sonoma County’s Viavi Solutions, Inc. pedaled 2,683 miles, burning 112,242 calories in the process.
Not to be outdone, winners in the small company category were Lucid Motors of San Mateo County in 1st place, clocking in at 6,892 miles and 300,375 calories; San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Parks in 2nd with 6,585 miles and 288,205 calories; and The Presidio of San Francisco in 3rd place, with 4,041 miles and 169,755 miles.
Last but definitely not least, the extra small company category was led by Alameda County’s kW Engineering with 3,527 miles and 157,480 calories, followed by Mithun/Solomon of San Francisco County in 2nd place with 2,070 miles and 90,839 calories. And in 3rd place, Santa Clara County’s Waymo covered 1,987 miles and 80,936 calories.
In addition to MTC (the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area), 511 (MTC’s regional traveler information system) and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day 2017 receives regional support from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Clear Channel Outdoor and Clif Bar, as well as from many sponsors at the local level. Bike to Work Day’s media sponsor is NBC Bay Area-KNTV/Telemundo 48. Prizes for the Bike Commuter of the Year winners were donated by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), Chipotle and Mike’s Bikes. Day-of 2-for-1 promotion was provided by Chipotle. The event is made possible through the cooperation of thousands of volunteers, county congestion management agencies, local jurisdictions and local bicycling coalitions.
For more information on Bike to Work Day and Team Bike Challenge, go to YouCanBikeThere.com.