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Northwestern Wins 2019 Bike to Work Challenge

Northwestern came in first place in the category of Education for 5000+ employees for the fourth year and logged the most miles of any team during Chicago’s 2019 Bike to Work Challenge. This annual cycling challenge between organizations in the Chicago area is a friendly competition meant to highlight the health and environmental benefits of commuting by bike. The Active Transportation Alliance hosts the Bike to Work Challenge each June and works year-round advocating for safe and accessible walking, biking, and public transit in the Chicagoland area.

The Northwestern University Team's 199 participants, from both the Evanston and Chicago campuses, rode 10,975 miles. Our team earned the top spot overall in the entire challenge for trips, distance, bonus points, and total points. Teams and organizations from across Chicagoland enjoyed the friendly competition from June 14-28. Nearly 4,300 riders representing local businesses, education, non-profit organizations and public agencies participated in the annual event.

"Biking to work (even part way) provides staff with a way of staying healthy and mobile as part of the work day,” said Elizabeth Adamczyk, co-chair of the sustainNU Transportation Working Group. “In winning the challenge these past few years, Northwestern is modelling that biking to work is a viable mode of transportation for its faculty and staff. I am encouraged by the number of staff who participate in this annual challenge and the impact that the input of our bike commuters can have to further improve the biking infrastructure in and around the Northwestern community."

sustainNU supported cyclists during the challenge by hosting bike pit-stop events on each campus. Mechanics performed bike safety checks and provided complimentary services like inflating tires, greasing chains, and checking for any larger repairs that might be needed to keep bikes running smoothly. Bike mechanics from Wheel & Sprocket serviced riders on the Evanston campus, while Village Cycle staff supported the Chicago pit stop. University Police distributed free bike helmets for those registering bikes.

To support campus community members who do not own a bike, Northwestern is proud to offer the Divvy discount that is available to all University students, faculty, and staff. In May 2018, Divvy created the University Membership which expanded the student membership program allowing faculty and staff to take advantage of the discounted $75 annual membership price. This discount is available to all students, faculty, and staff at Northwestern.

Thank you to all who made the Bike to Work Challenge a success! For more information on safe and sustainable cycling, visit the sustainNU Bike Resources page.