2017 National Bike Challenge highlights
The 2017 National Bike Challenge has come to a close and we wanted to thank all who participated this year. Together, from May through September, we rode over 31.5 million miles and had over 30,000 participants sharing rides and stories from all over the country. We could not have done it without you!
We also could not have done it without our sponsors. A special thanks to Presenting Sponsor 3M and to sponsors Kimberly-Clark and Scott Brand, Wells Fargo, Alta Planning + Design, Thrivent Financial and Brilliant Reflective Strips.
Our sponsors also assembled impressive Challenge teams! 3M led the business category with riders from 79 different worksites who logged over a million miles. Kimberly-Clark was in 7th place among the 341 businesses in the Challenge, with over 216,000 miles. Wells Fargo employees brought their employer to 9th place with over 212,000 miles logged.
Here are the winners of each category:
- Individual Challenge: Amanda Coker
- Advocacy Challenge (25+ participants): Bike Youngstown
- Bike Club: Shawnee Trail Cycling Club
- Bike Shop: Richardson Bike Mart of Richardson, TX
- Business: 3M Bicycle Users Group
- University: Utah State University
- Community: Lincoln, Nebraska
- State: Wisconsin
Our individual Challenge winner, Amanda Coker, has also made the news for a few other impressive achievements: She set the world record for the most miles ridden by any person in one calendar year with over 86,000! She also reached 100,000 miles on a bike faster than any other human, in just 423 consecutive days of riding. Not surprisingly, she also set the monthly mileage record with over 8,000 miles.
Amanda is impressive for more than just her athletic accomplishments. In 2011, Amanda was struck by a car driven by a distracted driver, and she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Amanda’s persistence in her recovery as well as her record-setting has been an inspiration to many other riders. Amanda shared her experiences with us from her home in Florida:
Joining the National Bike Challenge
Last summer one of my cycling friends introduced me to the National Bike Challenge. Being able to participate in two years of the NBC was great and the possibility of winning prizes was good motivation! I enjoyed seeing all the different levels of cyclists pushing themselves to accomplish their goals.
Before setting three world records I was riding an average of 100 miles a day, just for fun, when several other cyclists encouraged me to attempt to set a new Women’s highest annual mileage record. I didn’t know how far I could push myself so there was only one way to find out, and that way was to go for it! In all reality I wanted to push my limits every day to the max without injuring myself. So once I was in that rhythm I just continued on with as many miles as I could possibly do.
Her crash and recovery
After nearly losing my life in 2011 due to a distracted driver’s reckless actions, I truly thought I would never ride my bicycle again. Sitting and slowly recovering between each surgery I had a lot of time to think about missing cycling. I vowed to myself to never take cycling for granted if I could ever get back on the bike again.
During my world records attempt, anytime I hit a rough point I remembered back to those times sitting sedentary wishing I were riding, so I dug deep and just kept pedaling. I used those horrible memories as motivation.
I often see motorists swerving while driving down the road only to pull up beside them to see them looking down playing on their phones. It upsets me to see such careless actions when one wrong move could injure or kill someone. My message would be to please put your phone down and pay attention to driving safely to your destination. It’s as simple as that.
The Florida Bicycle Association has been working on a legislative platform to protect vulnerable road users and combat distracted driving. Becky Afonso, Executive Director of the organization offers her congratulations to our individual Challenge winner: “I can’t begin to imagine the work and determination needed to accomplish such a tremendous feat. Amanda is a hero and mentor to those inspired by her story and her grit, me included.”
Thanks, Amanda, for riding with us and being an inspiration! We hope you’ll join us in the National Bike Challenge next year. For those of you who wish to keep riding and challenging yourself and others into the fall, please join Love to Ride’s Biketober.