This afternoon blog post on the Bike Commute Challenge was written by BTA all-star volunteer Joel Finkelstein, who has been bike-delivering a handful of the prizes and gifts that Commute Challenge participants have been winning in our random drawings we hold throughout the month. Over a dozen folks from around the state have won prize drawings and taken home everything from coffee beans, ski passes, bike shop gift certificates, Columbia Sportswear backpacks, and Shower’s Pass rain jackets. What will you win when you #bikemore? What follows is a short piece highlighting Joel’s experience riding around town and meeting everyday folks who are using a bicycle to get to work and participate in the commute challenge and winning prizes.
We’ve had the chance to meet several BCC riders through raffle prize deliveries. Winners so far have ranged from new team captains to Challenge participants who’ve just moved to Portland.
First, our hats go off to James Eldridge (Pictured at Right), who tracks his commute from Hillsboro to Swan Island using the Cyclemeter app, and pedals an impressive forty-two miles round trip on his way to work. When we arrived to deliver his PDW bike light set, James was installing additional hanging bike racks in a secured storage area at Kroger Swan Island Dairy, in order to accommodate triple the number of bike commuters that have signed on since last year’s Commute Challenge. Swan Island is home to a bunch of businesses who are taking the Challenge very seriously; it’s awesome to see Kroger join in on the competition.
Flying Elephant’s Deli has diversified since last year’s challenge, and the local deli chain now has separate Teams and Captains for each of their locations across the Portland region. Chrissy Bumbolo heads the Elephant’s Team at the Fox Tower location in Downtown Portland; her coworkers were thoroughly excited to see her win a $100 gift card graciously donated by local bike shop Athlete’s Lounge. She might use her card to brighten up her ride down Sandy Boulevard each day. It’s her favorite part of her commute, during a point in the morning most of us are still sleeping; “I love the empty roads that early,” she told us. She’ll admit the most important part of her ride is having good all wether gear.
Ben Fry brought his fixed gear bike from Chicago less than a month ago in his move to Portland. He’ll put his new Columbia Sportswear backpack to good use in his daily ride that brings him through the Lloyd District each day. He appreciates Portland’s decent biking infrastructure, and doesn’t plan on owning a car in Portland. Ben is an architect at Holst, and he mentioned that his workplace has secured bike parking and other amenities that make bike commuting that much more convenient for him and his coworkers.
We’re only at the halfway point of the 2013 Bike Commute Challenge, and we’ve already given out sixteen prizes. If you want a chance to win one of our gifts, it’s not too late to sign up! Go check out the Bike Commute Challenge website and join a team (or captain your own team, if your office isn’t participating yet). Even if you don’t win one of our prize drawings, BCC participants are entitled to 10% off of parts and accessories from 89 bike shops across the state of Oregon; it’s just one more incentive to saddle up and #bikemore.