Bearcat bikers beat the competition

by Tina Owen,

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Members of the Willamette community pedalled their way to first place in the Salem-Keizer league of the statewide Bike More Challenge held throughout May.

 

Organized by the Portland-based Bicycle Transportation Alliance, this year’s effort to encourage more people to take up cycling attracted some 11,700 riders on 832 employer-based teams throughout Oregon. As well as taking first place in the Salem-Keizer league, the Willamette team of 35 riders also came fifth overall among participating Oregon universities and colleges.

 

The event took place in May to coincide with national Bike to Work Month. Whether riding to work, doing errands or just cycling for fun, participants made 203,686 trips totaling 1,656,044 miles. Out of the 11,700 riders, only four — including Willamette chemistry professor Chuck Williamson — managed to cycle for all 31 days.

 

“The Challenge was a great way to show or remind people how easy it can be to ride a bike as part of our everyday routines rather than hop into a car. And Willamette does a lot to foster and support a sustainable cycling culture —  from plentiful cycle racks on campus to the Bike Shop, which offers advice, bike repair and maintenance, and free rentals for students, staff and faculty,” says Joe Abraham, director of the Sustainability Institute, who helped coordinate the university’s participation.

 

“Even though the 2016 Bike More Challenge is now over, our hope is that people ride as much of the year as possible.”