National Bike Challenge
National Bike Challenge
The annual National Bike Challenge is Trailblazer’s primary program to engage and encourage residents around Northwest Arkansas to ride bikes. Whether for health, recreation, or transportation, we encourage individuals, families, teams, and workplaces to join us for May is Bike Month and Cycle September.
It is free to participate and requires registration to add to the region’s totals and win prizes!
Both month’s challenges welcome adults, families, and youth ages 13 and up to participate while offering a different focus during those two months of the year. Participants are able to stay connected virtually, set goals, view their stats while contributing to workplace and team rankings, and compete for both local and national prizes.
May is Bike Month welcomes all ages (13+) and riding styles to get out and enjoy riding bikes in the Ozarks. Cycle September focuses on the international workplace challenge, allowing organizations of all sizes to compete with others from around the world.
How to take part?
As an individual
All types of rides count towards your points- for fun, commuting, e-bike rides, and indoor rides! Challenge yourself, your friends and family, or your coworkers.
As a club/group (of friends, social riding group, cycling club, student group, etc.)
Cycling club/group pages are available year-round and have internal leaderboards for most miles, most trips, most commutes, etc. You can also filter these stats to see the top riders each month/year.
As a workplace (staff and faculty of an organization)
Create a workplace profile that will be the online cycling community and encouragement platform for your organization. Compete in the national and global workplace challenges, while improving the health of your office, community, environment, and self!
**Check with your workplace insurance company or health and wellness benefits to see how participating in the National Bike Challenge could benefit you!
All of the above :-)
You can participate in ALL three ways, at once. Record once and add to your individual, club, and workplace stats.
Link Strava and Map My Ride directly to your Love To Ride account, making trip-tracking simple.
P.S. Ride Spot from PeopleForBikes and Strava can be linked, then Strava to Love to Ride- Strava is the common thread for it all!
- 148% growth in ridership
- 800,000 miles ridden
- 52,000 bike trips taken
- 50,000lbs of carbon reduced
Sign-up for bike month here!
Register to participate in the challenge to win local and national prizes!
May is Bike Month
May is National Bike Month as dedicated by the League of American Bicyclists. Each May, riders around the country dust off their bikes, call up friends and family, nudge their coworkers, and get ready to ride. In Northwest Arkansas, Trailblazers hosts the National Bike Challenge in May and September, with May focusing on getting the community back out on their wheels.
Cycle September - Workplace Challenge
Gear up for fall and cooler temperatures with Cycle September!
The second phase of the National Bike Challenge includes global leader boards for the workplace challenge, encouraging people to ride with friends and colleagues.
Anyone can participate during Cycle September, whether or not they join a workplace. Kids, families, friends, and neighborhoods are welcome to create groups, encourage each other to ride more, and get outside together.
If you’re new to the National Bike Challenge in Northwest Arkansas, join us on the Love to Ride platform. Here you can track your miles online, by downloading the app, or syncing with your Strava or Map My Ride account. Those who have already been participating should log back into that Love to Ride account and check that you’re ready to go!
Love to Ride also has some incredible resources, ranging from courses around your bike ABC’s to how-to commute and tips on how to overcome barriers that keep you from riding. Check it out!
We’ll be offering some sweet prizes, so make sure you’re ready. Challenges range from logging at least one ride to riding for transportation to riding five times in a week; there’s something for everyone.
Assessment and Data Collection
Using the Love to Ride platform, participants are able to track their rides and keep in touch with other riders in the area either through their workplace, club, school, or team. Since Trailblazers (formerly as BikeNWA) started using the Love to Ride platform in 2019, the organization has been able to track growth and opportunities for improvement from this data.
Participants create a profile and generally fill out a survey, prompted by Love to Ride, to share their current behaviors around riding bikes. This information is shared with Trailblazers’ and used to understand the region and how to improve the program and rider experiences.
Support the National Bike Challenge
Support the cultivation of a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable cycling community by joining Trailblazers + ETHIC and sponsor the National Bike Challenge.
We are looking for a wide variety of partners. Contact us to discuss how you can get involved.
Jordan Flake - "I ride because it makes me feel like a kid again" What I learned during Bike Month
I spent the month of May intentionally riding my bike instead of using a car. It was exhausting, sometimes uncomfortable, and a ton of fun. Biking / commuting by bike has always been part of my life. I started riding my bike to school in 1st grade and have kept up the habit whenever possible.
I try to take my kids to school via bike each morning. I even sold my commuter car last year with the justification that I could ride most everywhere if I needed to + as an incentive I told myself whatever I saved on not buying gas or insurance, I could spend on bikes 😊.
However, when I sold my car, I was not expecting to have crash that would take me off the bike for nearly two months. At the end of February this year I crashed mountain biking and shattered my collarbone, broke my scapula, and 5 ribs. It was rough not being able to use a bicycle to get around. I knew May was Bike Month and put it in my sights as my return to biking full time.
Fortunately, my recovery lined up perfectly to the start of Bike Month. I was incredibly happy to be back on the bike again and I made a point to ride everywhere I could. With three younger boys at home there were plenty of opportunities to bike with them to activities around town.
What I learned/ was reminded of during bike month:
- Being able to bike is a privilege. After not being able to for a bit, I gained a huge appreciation for the ability to cycle to get around. It’s so great there are resources for adaptive cycling around town.
- Commuting can be a chore (by car or by bike). Doing it by bike takes some preparation, but usually opens the door to enjoyment more than commuting by car.
- Weather can be an obstacle, but with a bit of preparation, the right gear, and the right mindset, it can be overcome. Sometimes, it can’t and that’s okay!
- It helps to mix up the bikes. I rotated through a couple different bikes to add variety to all the miles. Riding the appropriate bike for the type of riding you are doing is key.
- Kids are tough! Sometimes it took a bit of persuading to get the kids out on the bikes again, but when they did, they crushed it.
- Snacks! Always pack snacks.
Jacqueline Stockman - "I ride because it’s a great way to enjoy the beauty and nature of the Natural State!"
OZ Trails & THE Razorback #RediscoverRiding
I recently moved to NWA from IL and let me tell you - riding is so much better here! This super bike friendly community makes it easy to get around by bike. I love riding the Razorback Greenway on my cross bike and the OZ trails on my mountain bike. With over 100 miles of trails, it’s convenient to ride to pick up groceries, grab some dinner or a cup of Joe, or just enjoy a day of cycling. You can’t beat NWA!
Melisa Jennings - "I ride because No matter my mood ... I ALWAYS feel so much better after a bike ride!"
Skip the Car line .. Join the E-Bike Cargo Line instead
It's finally getting to feel more like spring!! And that means, more rides on the e-cargo bike!!
There's nothing like being the center of attention at the school pickup/dropoff car line -- ALL those folks who are stuck there waiting for traffic to clear so they can leave, watching me & my daughter with giant smiles on our faces from our morning conversation, "it's going to be a beautiful day today", easily arriving & leaving with practically no waiting!
A father commented on how "cool" my bike was ... but I'm really the cool one cause I like to cause scenes - bike friendly scenes!!
Mike Fall - "I ride because It gets me out from behind a desk over lunch!"
It's not just fun it's great for your health!
I first helped my office (Henderson Engineers- Bentonville, AR) with last years September bike challenge. I did not own a bike at the time and had to borrow a coworkers bike in order to get some miles in. I had not been on a bike since college, but I fell in love with it. Once the bike challenge was over I got lucky and was able to order a bike before the Covid rush. I had to wait for warmer weather to really enjoy my bike but now I leave it at work and try to ride at lunch as many days as I can as well as on the weekends. My weight and blood work have greatly improved as a side benefit!
New to riding or looking for resources?
If you are looking for resources to learn to ride or would be interested in a refresher course, check out Trailblazers’ Adult First Ride class. It’s a great opportunity for adults to learn or revisit bike skills from the very basics in a fun and supportive environment.
Are there other resources you’re looking for? Reach out to Trailblazers at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or support! We’ll do our best to help.