Capital Region Bike to Work Challenge 2016

share the road bicycle sign

The annual Bike to Work Day is May 20 -- which means you still have some time to organize your team for the Capital Region Bike to Work Challenge.

What is this challenge? Blurbage:

Trophies will be awarded in each county for the following categories. Winners will "own" the trophies until Bike to Work Day 2017.
+ Organization with the largest number of riders
+ Small organization with the highest percent participation (20 or fewer employees)
+ Organization over 20 employees with the highest percent participation
+ Person who rode the farthest.

The challenge is organized by the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC), Capital Moves, and Bikeatoga. There's sign-up info at that link above.

Competition aside, this sort of event can be a good prompt to try cycling to work. For some people it's just not going to work because of distance or whatever. That said, we suspect it's a bit like riding the bus: If you don't do it often, it might seem impractical or a big hassle. But you might be surprised by how well it works out. You just have to give it a fair shot.

How many people bike to work?
Bike commuting in the Capital Region core ranges from .4 percent of adult commuters in Albany County to .1 percent in the other counties, according to the most recent Census Bureau estimates (2010-2014). That adds up to... not a lot of people -- something just under 1,000 people.

The percentages are bit higher for some of the places within the Capital Region, such as the cities of Albany and Saratoga Springs.

Here's a national list of the cities (population 100k+) with the highest percentage of bike commuters -- it includes cold-weather spots such as Cambridge (Massachusetts), Madison (Wisconsin), Ann Arbor, and Minneapolis. All of those places have rates about 4 percent. (It'd be interesting to learn more about the bike infrastructure in those places.)

Comments

The challenge should be try to ride to work without getting hit by a car. Albany roads are pretty treacherous for bikes. Car drivers don't know how to react and generally don't even think about how to share the road.

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