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Week 3 Challenge Recap: Sooooo Many Donuts

National Bike Challenge buttonIt’s a been a big week in the National Bike Challenge. We crossed the 1,000,000 mile mark last weekend, and several days this week set new records for miles entered into the system.

As of this glorious Bike to Work Day morning, we stand at 1.5 million miles logged, and over 36 million calories burned. One and half million miles is 3 round trips from the earth to the moon. But what does 36 million calories get you?

  • 52,990 milkshakes
  • 21,420 gallons of New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire ale, which can be conveniently hauled home in 1,392 kegs. I hope you brought your trailer.
  • 182,818 donuts, which, stacked up, would become the highest point in the United States towering over Mount McKinley by 2,500 feet.

By our official calculations, Challenge riders have saved more than $358,000 in the three weeks of riding (this calculation includes only transport trips.) Once all the donuts are paid for, we’ll still have $267,000 left over. In somewhat more official calculations, U.S. bicyclists save $4.6 billion per year by riding instead of driving. That according to new data released today by the League of American Bicyclists, Sierra Club, and National Council of La Raza (NCLR).

I don’t mention New Belgium lightly — they’re one of two new prize sponsors, adding a bike, a case of beer, and a pair of socks to our prize list. We’ve also added prizes from the Better World Club, who will give 10 lucky winners Bicycle Roadside Assistance memberships. Look for an updated prize list on the Challenge site next week.

Looking at the leaderboards, not much has changed at the top since last week. While he hasn’t made the turn at Tranquility Base yet, Leonard Wright is still leading the personal challenge by a fair piece, and he’s the only rider so far to have attained platinum. There are more than 2,500 riders in easy striking distance of gold (500 points) by month’s end, making them eligible for the richest pot of monthly prizes.

Vermont is still leading the state challenge, but Wisconsin dominates the top 10 in the community (Madison at #1, and 5 more besides) and workplace (Trek at #1, Kimberly-Clark at #2, plus 3 more) categories. Trek Varsity leads the team competition. Scrolling down the state list a bit, Maryland, my Maryland, is struggling to stay in the top 20, and trailing Virgina by 2 spots.

The more interesting competition is in the comments, where it seems that each rider’s story is more inspiring than the last — people back on bikes for the first time in years, riding trips they would have taken by car, losing weight, and loving life. Fortunately, that’s a category where everyone wins.

Get up and ride, and get your friends involved — we still have a lot of recruiting to do if we’re to reach our goal of 50,000 riders.

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