Tech Wins Atlanta Bike Challenge
Employeees from Parking and Transportation Services used the Atlanta Bike Challenge as an opportunity to take group rides around campus and Midtown.
Georgia Tech employees took to two wheels in droves during the month of October, beating out more than 30 other employers to win this year’s Atlanta Bike Challenge.
Tech won first place in its category of organizations with more than 2,000 employees.
“To win, we had to get existing cyclists to ride and to encourage new riders,” said Johann Weber, a graduate student in public policy who also served as an ambassador for the Challenge. “In the end, Georgia Tech earned 60,000 points with 18 new riders, 145 total participants, and 12,000 miles ridden.”
The Challenge awarded points based on the number of existing riders, new riders, miles, and days ridden for each participant. Staff members in Parking and Transportation Services used the challenge as an opportunity to take group bike rides as a team.
“I ended up using a bicycle at least once every day of the Challenge for trips to work, meetings, and lunch,” said David Crites, transportation operations manager. “We had weekly lunch rides on Wednesdays to local destinations like the BeltLine, Ponce City Market, Centennial Olympic Park, and Piedmont Park.” Crites placed first among Tech’s 145 riders and 12th among the nearly 2,000 total participants in the challenge from around the Atlanta area.
The competition was hosted by Love to Ride, a nonprofit that works with local communities to advocate cycling, along with Georgia Commute Options, the Atlanta Regional Commission, and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. Tech placed third in the 2014 challenge.
A celebration will take place Monday, Nov. 9, at 5 p.m. in President Suite C of the Bill Moore Student Success Center. The event will include pizza and information about the Campus Bike Master Plan, as well as campus groups Starter Bikes and the Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee.
This year’s win comes at a time when Parking and Transportation Services is working to accommodate a growing number of campus cyclists.
“We believe that the numbers of students, faculty, and staff commuting by bike has been increasing, and we’re monitoring that now,” said Lisa Safstrom, campus transportation planner. “We’ve made great efforts over the past few years to improve our cycling infrastructure on campus, install more bike racks, and generally accommodate people biking in order to support our sustainability goals as an institution and to provide a great option for those who can’t drive to campus or don’t want to.” Tech is recognized as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Cyclists.
Those who commute to campus by bike or are interested in learning more about bike commuting can join a campus Listserv at www.c.gatech.edu/bikecommute-subscribe.