MILTON, Ga. – Last October, more than 1,000 metro Atlanta commuters traded their steering wheels for handlebars and participated in the first-ever Bike to Work Challenge during Bike to Work Month. More than 17,000 bike trips were logged, eliminating some 130,000 miles of car travel from the road and 64 tons of pollution from the air. This October, bicycle commuters, new and seasoned, can cycle their way to work and compete for prizes in the second annual Bike to Work Challenge.
Organized by the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Clean Air Campaign, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Atlanta Regional Commission and local transportation management associations, the second annual Bike to Work Challenge gives commuters the opportunity to compete as individuals or teams.
Milton resident Brian Teipen has taken up the challenge. He bikes 25 miles at least twice a week to his job in Norcross. Moreover, he has to ride in early so he can take a shower and change clothes before the work day begins. This is Teipen’s second year participating in this challenge.
“Overall, stress reduction is the biggest reason I do it,” said Teipen, “and I value that I am able to combine the commute time with exercise time. It also reminds me to remain a bit more focused on making healthy choices.”
Teipen said that his biggest influence was his colleague Mark Filer, who is another participant in the challenge.
“The more times I saw him riding in, the more I thought about how I could plan and do the same,” Teipen said.
Nonetheless, Teipen was already a seasoned athlete when it comes to biking and was even a competitor at the Elite National Championships and the 1992 U.S. Olympics trials.
The bicyclist said he believes that substituting short car rides with bike trips will not only maintain healthy stress levels but also help reduce smog production and improve air quality.
Friends and co-workers have shown great support for the activity and have even expressed interest in partaking in the challenge themselves, Teipen said.
“If anyone is interested in how to begin bike commuting or cycling in general, great resources include the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and your local bike shop,” he said.
To find out more about the Bike to Work Challenge and to register, visit www.atlbiketowork.org.