By Carolyn Baar – Georgia Commute Options
Eleven months of the year, Georgia Commute Options (GCO) focuses on reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road in the Atlanta region. In October, we focus on biking.
Georgia Commute Options’ sixth annual bike challenge, Biketober, exceeded all expectations. This year’s challenge saw the highest rates of participation in its history with 4,477 registrants, a 79% increase from last year’s 2,500. Of those registered, 2,811, including 500 new riders, logged trips during the month of October – compared to 1,900 in 2018.
Biketober, also known as The Atlanta Bike Challenge, is all about getting people on bikes and sharing in the fun of cycling. We heard stories from all over the region about people who experienced the benefits of incorporating cycling into their daily routine and plan to continue to ride. We strive to help bike advocates find their voices through this challenge and make biking safer and more fun for everyone by increasing the number of bikers on roads and trails in our area.
The Cumberland CID (CCID) and its members played a big role in the challenge’s success this year. The residents, commuters and visitors of CCID took advantage of all the new CID two-wheel amenities by riding the new trails and visiting the new bike share stations.
Georgia Commute Options hosted promotional activities across the district at locations including Randstad, The Galleria Atlanta, America’s Capital Partners and The Battery Atlanta. We distributed information directly to more than 5,000 commuters in the district and had personal conversations with more than 500 individuals. Fifteen companies in the district participated this year including Randstad, who awarded their participating employees wellness points.
A big draw for bikers to participate in Biketober was the chance to win one of the many prizes up for grabs. We gave away two Edison Electric Bicycles, a KHS Flite road bike from Aztec Cycles and weekly gifts including hats, T-shirts and restaurant gift certificates. In addition to promoting these prizes, our outreach activities allowed us to highlight a comprehensive list of “Where to Ride.” We used this resource to position the Cumberland CID trails as a gateway to the Silver Comet Trail, the trails in the National Parks and the ever-increasing connectivity these trails offer. We helped map trips between transit service, residential and employment centers, restaurants, retail and recreational assets in Cumberland.
With the increasing amenities for cycling, including new Zagster stations and nearly 40 miles of trails, Cumberland is the perfect place to bike. Our neighbors in Downtown and Midtown have great bike trails and amenities too, but imagine if the Cumberland CID members took this event to a new level in 2020. What if members of the CID form teams to mount corporate challenges, sponsor bike-in-movies, participate in bike-to-work days or host a Zagster-to-Lunch event? Our team at GCO stands ready to partner with you to make next years’ event bigger and better. We challenge you to incorporate Biketober into your calendar next year. Let’s raise awareness of the CID’s beautiful, walkable, bikeable district by encouraging our community to get out and ride next October.
Check out all of the results of the challenge at the Atlanta Bike Challenge and get your gears turning for next Fall. Are you in?