With her polka-dot pinwheel spinning in the wind, Amy Schiebel propelled the National Bike Challenge past 10 million miles this morning. Riding three miles to work on her Electra cruiser, the Denver resident logged the trip that pushed the national initiative past its goal—three weeks before the end of the online competition.
Running through August 31, the National Bike Challenge is a nationwide initiative to inspire and empower millions of Americans to ride their bikes for transportation, recreation and better health. Since the kick-off in May, the friendly, online competition (sponsored by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, League of American Bicyclists, Endomondo and Bikes Belong) has engaged nearly 30,000 bicyclists from communities nationwide to log their miles, connect with fellow riders and compete for great prizes.
Amy started riding just three years ago, encouraged by her father, an avid cyclist. Rather than racing or long-distance riding, Amy fell in love with biking thanks to the laid-back style and camaraderie of cruiser rides. “It only took one time to get me hooked,” she says. “Now, I try to ride every day. I live about three miles from my job so riding to work is a must!”
But, for Amy, biking is also daily joy. Each of her seven bikes are outfitted with eye-catching accessories, like LED lighting and giant pinwheels. “I love how biking makes me feel,” she says. “Getting on a bike in the morning not only wakes me up, but puts me in a better mood. Then, riding home after work, it relaxes me to feel the wind through my hair and on my skin. Losing close to 40 pounds over the past few years — most of it due to biking — motivates me to keep going.”
Being part of the National Bike Challenge has been a major incentive, as well. Thus far participants from all 50 states have collectively burned more than 250 million calories. More than 300 riders have won prizes in the monthly drawings, including new bikes from Trek and Specialized, and countless new friendships have developed on the social networks provided by the Challenge.
“I always like a friendly bike competition and love that Endomondo tracks everything for me,” Amy says. “I’m excited by how many people are involved and how many miles have been completed in such a short time! It’s fun to see so many people outdoors, getting in shape and living healthier lives. This makes me want to get everyone I know involved with biking!”