The University of Chicago joins the 2015 Bike Commuter Challenge

June 2015

Teams from the University of Chicago will join more than 650 businesses and organizations across metro Chicago in the 13th annual Bike Commuter Challenge, a competition designed to boost awareness of passive transportation options.

The friendly challenge starts Friday, June 12 and runs through next Friday, June 19. The challenge also seeks to improve conditions for bicycling, walking and transit while engaging people in healthy and active ways to get around. This year, the competition is also a fundraiser, with proceeds going to support the non-profit Active Transportation Alliance, which hosts the event. Last year, more than 6,000 cyclists participated.

In 2014, the University of Chicago’s Office of Sustainability hosted a University-wide contest to recognize the department team that logged the most commuter miles during challenge week. The overall winning department was the University of Chicago Press – clocking-in a total of 687 miles. All University department teams collectively traveled 3,678 miles – preventing nearly 3,332 pounds of CO2 from being produced by a typical passenger vehicle covering the same distance.1  Click here to join the Facilities Services team.

What counts as a "bike commute"?

In keeping with the goal of introducing the public to the joys of biking, participation is easier than ever. A "bike commute" can be:

  • Riding to your on-campus meeting.
  • Riding both ways to work by bicycle.
  • Riding one way to or from work by bicycle (and the other way by any other mode).
  • Riding part way to work by pairing biking with transit, carpooling or any other mode.

Participants can log anything from one trip to many during the Challenge. Teams are judged on a “company team rating formula,” which evaluates company size, team members and number of trips taken. That means just one trip contributes to the University’s overall score significantly.

Pop up Pit Stop

To get you rolling on your two-wheeled trip, the Office of Sustainability has partnered with Blackstone Bicycles, Open Produce, and the Hyde Park Farmer’s Market to host a morning “pit stop” during challenge week. Riders will receive free bike maintenance, while re-hydrating with fresh juice and greens from Open Produce and the Farmer’s Market. The pit stop will be located outside of Harper Court (5235 S. Harper Ct.) on Thursday, June 18, from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

For information, please contact Freddy Izguerra in the Office of Sustainability.