(May 13, 2016) The 22nd annual MassCommute Bicycle Challenge (MCBC) is now happening, from May 14-22, during Bay State Bike Week in Massachusetts. Participants can register on the MCBC web site at masscommutebicyclechallenge.org to track their miles ridden and win daily prizes.
For the 22nd consecutive year, Massachusetts residents and employees are challenged to take some or all of their commutes and other trips by bicycle for a 9-day period. The Challenge is a free and friendly competition between businesses, communities, and institutions for fun and fitness, and seeks to encourage bicycling as a viable mode of transportation.
MCBC participants register and log their miles online. Winners receive their awards at the MCBC’s annual Bike Bash event held just over a week after the Challenge, and all participants are invited to participate in the Bike Bash door raffle. The 2016 Bike Bash is set for June 1st at Flat Top Johnny’s in Cambridge, MA from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Over 2,900 commuters signed up for the 2015 MCBC. Participants from 239 zip codes, 180 businesses and 21 educational institutions logged 146,001 miles, a five percent increase from 2015. These miles biked prevented over 136,000 pounds of CO2 by replacing miles that might otherwise have been driven by car.
Winners for 2015 included:
Communities: 1) Cambridge 2) Somerville 3) Arlington
Businesses: Meetinghouse Montessori School (1-24 employees), Digital Lumens (25-99 employees), Elkus Manfredi Architects (100-499 employees), MassDEP (500-1,499 employees), Biogen – Cambridge (1,500-2,999 employees), MIT Lincoln Laboratory (3,000-4,999 employees), Children’s Hospital Boston (5,000+ employees)
Colleges/universities: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1-999 employees/students), Harvard – Longwood campus (1,000-4,999 employees/students), MIT (5,000+ employees/students).
MassCommute – who seeks to promote sustainable transportation options, reduce traffic congestion, and improve opportunities for economic development – hopes that occasional or recreational bicycle riders may use the Challenge as an opportunity to try bicycling as a regular mode of transportation. Participant data from recent years has shown strong participation from women, especially in the younger age clusters. In the 19-24 age group, 59% of participants were female, and of the 25-34 age group, 49% were female. MassCommute hopes to build upon strong participation from women – across all age groups – and on overall participant levels across the state.
“The MCBC is not just an event for sporty men in spandex, although we love them too!” said Julia Prange Wallerce, Executive Director of MassCommute. “It’s about making the conscious choice to ride a bicycle as an everyday mode of transportation- whether that bicycle be your own or part of a bikeshare program like Hubway- and to celebrate the fantastic environmental, economic, and health benefits -to you as an individual and to the community at large- of making that choice. Often times that choice becomes a year round habit”
The MCBC is organized by MassCommute – a coalition of twelve Massachusetts transportation management associations (TMAs), and is generously supported by Gold Level sponsors MIT Commuter Connections and Harvard University Commuter Choice.