As a life-long Oregonian, I can’t help but associate the arrival of these cloudy skies with many other facets of autumnal life here in the Pacific Northwest: the return of the school year, the arrival of the cyclocross season, and the annual trek out to Sauvie’s Island to pick out pumpkins. In my experience, though, nothing signals the beginning of the rainy months like the yearly tradition of budding, palpable excitement for the state’s longest established professional sporting team, the Portland Trail Blazers, to kick off their season.
That’s why I’m thrilled to share today’s Bike Commute Challenge Inspirational Photo of the Day, sent to us by Blaze the Trail Cat himself. Blaze, the mascot of the Portland Trail Blazers, has been riding with the Portland Trail Blazers/Rip City Management team this September and the Blazers’ organization appears to be on the rise both on the courts and in the Bike Commute Challenge standings this year. Led by Team Captain Brian Conkle (who is currently boasting an impressive 80% Commute Rate), Rip City’s Bike Commute Challenge team has logged 437 miles this year, and the organization as a whole has undertaken a handful of initiatives to make it easier to ride a bike to games, ranging from hosting “Bike-To-Blazers” events and increasing the Rose Quarter’s bicycle parking capacity. They’re absolutely showing up their hallmates, the Portland Winterhawks, who don’t even have a BCC team, and their crosstown ax-wielding rivals, the Portland Timbers, who haven’t yet logged a trip. (Timber Joey, alas, was unavailable for comment.)
Thanks for the photo, Blaze! We’re looking forward to watching Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard’s sophomore campaign this year, and we’re excited to see how you and your Bike Commute Challenge team fare against the 1231 teams in competition with you for the Bike Commute Challenge this September. The Blazers host their home-opener for the season November 1st against the Phoenix Suns. Let’s hope that Rip City are playing basketball well into April and May this year, and let’s hope the Blazers organization continues to #bikemore by keeping up their impressive stats with the Bike Commute Challenge.