If you are a dedicated cyclist who doesn’t let the cold temperatures or snow stop you from biking, tomorrow is your day; the Active Transportation Alliance is hosting its 15th annual Winter Bike to Work Day from 6:30 to 8 a.m. Friday at Daley Plaza to kick off its Winter Bike Challenge (WBC).
For those who struggle to hop on a bike in low temperatures, maybe free Dark Matter Coffee and Eli’s Cheesecake will serve as your exercise motivation. Active Trans will also provide hot chocolate, tea and samples from Nuun and Clif to help participants warm up and mingle with others.
Another bonus for participating in Winter Bike to Work Day is all riders are eligible for earning double miles Friday towards their WBC tracking – stop by the Active Trans tent to find out how, the event website says.
“According to data compiled by the U.S. Census, 1.7 percent of Chicagoans 16 and older rode a bike to work in 2014, the last year for which data is available,” DNA Info reports.
For the first time, the WBC will run for two weeks instead of one; through Jan. 27, cyclists will track their trips, miles, calories and total “CO2” saved for every day they commute via bike. Individuals can log past trips until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 1.
“You don’t have to bike all the way to your destination – just biking once to your local bus or train stop during the two-week challenge counts. Even a trip to the grocery store or library counts,” the website says. “You only have to bike one time during the Winter Bike Challenge to be counted.”
With every challenge comes prizes and incentives; every day during the challenge, Active Trans will be drawing names for winners of raffle prizes, which include Dark Matter Coffee, Chipotle burrito or bowl, free yoga classes, bike locks, a free entry to the MB Bike the Drive and more. The person with the most miles logged will win the grand prize, which is a new Fat Tire bike.
New this year, participants can make donations during registration to receive awesome WBC gear, including long-sleeved shirts, hoodies and more.
Registration for the WBC is available online, along with rules and crash support. Participants are encouraged to download the Bike Commuter Challenge app to access live GPS tracking, a calendar view of all trips and to submit and upload to the Trip Log easier. If you’re new to winter riding, check out the WBC tips page to answer any questions you may have.
The WBC is the winter version of the popular spring event, the Bike Commuter Challenge (BCC). Registration for the BCC will open in early June 2017.
“We’ve added a few new twists this year but stay true to the heart of the program – an opportunity for newbies to give winter cycling a try but also a chance for the more seasoned winter rider to mix it up,” Active Trans says.
Active Trans is a non-profit advocacy organization that works throughout Chicagoland to improve conditions for cycling, walking and people using public transit.