Bicyclists Unite to Pedal Past Mileage Record

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The National Bike Challenge charged into the finish line today, uniting almost 35,000 Americans to bike more than 18 million miles this summer. In just its second year, the friendly competition increased the distance traveled for transportation, recreation and fitness in communities nationwide by 50 percent.  

Sponsored by Kimberly-Clark Corporation and presented by theLeague of American Bicyclists, the free program encouraged bicyclists of all ages and abilities to get back on their bikes, ride further, and experience the extraordinary health benefits of bicycling while helping reduce their environmental impact.

For Cara McKaskle, the Challenge changed her life. The Conway, Ark., resident, channeled her weight loss and fitness goals into the Challenge, shedding more than 60 pounds and gaining a lifelong passion along the way. 

“It was such a privilege to be a part of the National Bike Challenge,” McKaskle said. “Everyone going the extra mile to better their health is one huge step in the battle against obesity and other health problems. I can’t wait until next year!”

In 2013, the Challenge engaged more than 3,600 communities across the country. Recognizing the boost to employee health and to the planet, more than 8,000 companies and nonprofits participated in the 2013 Challenge, including UPS, Target Corp., Facebook, ATT, Verizon, Sprint and Microsoft Corp. 

“Kimberly-Clark is thrilled to see so many people from around the country, including our own employees, participating this year,” said Peggy Ward, senior sustainability consultant at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. “We’re proud of our commitment to support employee health activities while helping to preserve the environment — and we’re excited about the improvements planned for the National Bike Challenge in 2014!”

The Challenge also provided an innovative tool for bicycle clubs and advocacy organizations to boost riding in their communities, inspiring friendly city rivalries and collective riding goals.

“Every single day, the Challenge has inspired people to ride their bikes — even in our own office, which is full of quite committed riders already!” League President Andy Clarke said. “The stories of individual triumph, increased corporate awareness of biking, friendly club competition, and community pride generated by the Challenge this year are priceless. Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their story.”

Mette Lykke, CEO of Endomondo, the official tracking app for the Challenge, said she was happy to see so many people participate in this year’s event. “The fact that nearly 35,000 participants covered more than 18 million miles to burn more than 400,000 calories shows that fitness can be fun and engaging when coupled with social interaction,” she said. 

Though the 2013 Challenge has come to a close, all are encouraged to follow the Challenge on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to hear about big plans for next year!

Read the full press release here, and see a list of all of the first place winners in the 2013 National Bike Challenge here.