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I Now Have 30,000 New Friends

One of the first things I do when I get to work is log my miles for the National Bike Challenge. My commute’s not far (4.5 miles round trip), but seeing those short rides add up in terms of points and mileage has been so exciting. I will finish the Challenge having ridden 416 miles and with 1838 points, getting me up to the Platinum level.

But even more fun than logging my miles (as if there were to be such a thing!) was getting to meet all of you. The community that has developed over this Challenge has been unprecedented. Going over the Challenge’s homepage, looking for daily inspirations to put on the Facebook page, has been such a rewarding experience. I never would have to look too far to find someone sharing a great piece of advice (“My diet has included, eggs, coffee, bananas, beans, rice, chicken, and orange juice,” from Miguel Lopez on eating while training) or personal victory (“While this is my third year commuting from work on a bike, this contest inspired me to push myself beyond my commute – and I have,” Karen Mitchell shared).

In hosting the Challenge’s Facebook and Twitter presences, I tried to stay out of it as much as I could to let people tell their own stories; there were so many great ones out there! But when I hit Platinum, I was too excited to keep it to myself. I posted it on the Facebook page, and the response I got was amazing! It was so nice to feel like a real part of the Challenge’s community, with the double-Platinumers welcoming me to their ranks, and others sharing their own stories of first reaching Platinum. “I achieved Platinum just shy of six weeks into the challenge (12 June). Glad you could join us!” said Herman May.

When we started the National Bike Challenge, we knew that we’d have a lot of people participating across the country. But what we didn’t know was that all these people would come together to form a warm and welcoming group of bike riders to cheer each other on. So thank you!

Thank you to everyone who signed up, logged miles, and contributed to the conversations on the homepage, Facebook, and Twitter. You all really made this Challenge an inspiring experience. We’ll see you again in 2013!


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