Madison & Milwaukee Charge Ahead in National Bike Challenge

One week into the National Bike Challenge Wisconsin has two cities in the top ten cities for folks recording their biking miles. Madison ranks first in the nation while Milwaukee comes in at number six.

Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska rank second and third, respectively. Pittsburgh comes in at fourth, than it’s Arlington, Virginia, Milwaukee, Boise, Cleveland, Savannah and Indianapolis in order.

But the race has just begun. The challenge started May 1st and runs through September. Last year Wisconsin finished third behind Vermont and Nebraska.

The Bike Challenge started in Wisconsin a few years ago and it’s now run at the national level by the League of American Bicyclists where it is supported by Wisconsin-based Kimberly Clark Corporation. Kimberly Clark’s Rob Gusky, who is on the board of the League and who is a great friend of the Bike Fed, is huge into the challenge. In fact, the man just has a mean streak when it comes to his desire to elbow out Vermont and Nebraska to reclaim our first in the nation status.

At the Bike Fed we’ve been promoting a little friendly rivalry with the Corn Huskers too. But the point really is just to get the competitive juices flowing so that people get out there and ride their bikes more.

We do a lot of things at the Bike Fed to that end: Safe Routes to School, the Share & Be Aware program, the Valid Bike Shop and a lot more. But the bottom line is that when more people ride that makes biking better and safer for everyone.

So, if you haven’t signed up yet for the Bike Challenge please do it today. Beat Nebraska!

Sign Up For the Challenge

2014 Bike Challenge Supporters






About Dave Cieslewicz, Director Emeritus

Dave Cieslewicz served two terms as mayor of Madison where he set the city on a path for Platinum status as one of the best biking cities in North America. Before that he started his own nonprofit, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, which focuses on land use and transportation policy. He has been an adjunct professor at the UW Madison's Department of Urban and Regional Planning where he teaches a class called Bikes, Pedestrians and Cities. He pronounces his name chess LEV ich, but nobody else does.

2 thoughts on “Madison & Milwaukee Charge Ahead in National Bike Challenge

  1. I’m registered but these stats make me suspect? No Portland, NYC or Chicago? Is the challenge not being promoted there?

    • The scoring algorithm tries to level the playing field. So while Wisconsin has the most riders and miles, Nebraska and Vermont are ahead of us because per rider, they have more trips and more miles. It gets funky when you get down to small workplaces and small communities, so don’t take it too personally if you think something looks fishy. Overall the Challenge does a pretty good job of comparing apples to apples.

      As for Portland, they do their own challenge, as many communities still do, so they don’t have a strong presence on the National Challenge.

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