The sixth annual Biketober Atlanta Bike Challenge kicked off this week with more than 1600 participants pledging to log their bike rides during the month of October. With weekly prizes and friendly competition, the event emphasizes recruiting new bike riders and encouraging recreational cyclists to consider commuting by bike.
Riders compete as part of workplace or social teams of up to eight people, earning points for every mile ridden, every day they log a trip, and for each new participant in order to win prizes. But for event organizers, the real win is helping people experience the benefits of making their commute by bike instead of driving alone.
“There are countless intrinsic benefits to bike commutes, from cost-effectiveness to health benefits for riders,” said Jill Goldberg, Georgia Commute Options Marketing Director, in a press release. “The Biketober challenge is a fun way to familiarize commuters with the benefits of biking versus driving alone, in hopes that they will adopt biking as their preferred commute option, which ultimately benefits us all.”
Biketober by the Numbers
Out of approximately 70,000 Midtown commuters, about 1 percent do so by bike, according to a Midtown Alliance survey in 2013, the same year as the inaugural Biketober challenge. The number of people riding bikes in Midtown is increasing, however, as bike facilities expand throughout the city.
“More bike infrastructure means more people on bikes,” said Midtown Alliance Director of Transportation and Sustainability Dan Hourigan. “The Atlanta Bike Challenge shares our goal here at Midtown Transportation which is to make riding your bike easy, fun and safe while helping to reduce traffic congestion and limit emissions. More bike commuters make Midtown better for everyone,” Hourigan said.
Today, the 1.2-square mile Midtown Improvement District features 4.38 miles of bike facilities, including 2.45 miles of dedicated bike lane and around 230 public bike racks sprinkled throughout the district. With several multi-modal infrastructure projects in the works, Midtown Alliance is set to build more than eight additional miles of bike facilities over the next several years, Hourigan said.
The Atlanta Bike Challenge is organized by Georgia Commute Options, a program managed by the Atlanta Regional Commission and funded through the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Something is Brewing in Tech Square
On October 26, Midtown Alliance will host a Bike-In Movie Night at Centergy One! Join us by foot, bike, or scooter for a spooktacular night as we show the classic Halloween movie Hocus Pocus on the big screen.
The Bike-In Move event is produced in conjunction with Relay Bike Share. Attendees arriving on a Relay bike will be entered to win a raffle prize. Arrive early or hang around after the movie to take advantage of food and beverage specials from The Canteen. Blankets and chairs are encouraged. Midtown Alliance will provide popcorn at no cost to attendees.
RSVP on Facebook.