The 2012 US National Bike Challenge

Online contest hopes to inspire Americans to ride more

Today, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong, and Endomondo announce their National Bike Challenge.

The online contest aims to inspire and empower Americans to ride their bikes for transportation, recreation and better health. The challenge is simple: sign up as an individual or as a team, log your miles, share your stories, and encourage others to join you in riding your bike this summer.

"We're looking forward to seeing all the different types of riders who participate. The Challenge is a great way to encourage people to live healthier lives," said Bruno Maier, vice president of Bikes Belong.

Riders and teams logging the most miles will compete for prizes and awards on the local and national level, including a grand prize trip through California wine country from Trek Travel.

Organizations in 26 US states have committed to participate and are currently warming up for the May 1 start date. "The League is excited about this unique opportunity to share the many benefits of bicycling and offer a fun, engaging entry point for new riders," said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. "There's nothing like riding a bike with your friends and colleagues and the National Bike Challenge will create a new social network of cyclists stretching from coast to coast."

Kimberly-Clark, Endomondo, and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin founded the challenge in 2011, when the company offered a similar riding competition to their 57,000 global employees.

The challenge's sponsors hope to open Americans' eyes to how bikes can benefit their health, wallets, and recreational enjoyment

The company’s employees logged 357,739 miles globally, with US employees pedaling 182,210 miles. The success in Wisconsin led to a bigger vision: taking the challenge to the national level and outside of the company. "We're pleased to be the national sponsor of the challenge as it supports the wellness of our employees and the communities we serve, while contributing to improved air quality by replacing car travel with clean, healthy bicycle trips," said Jan Spencer, Kimberly-Clark's senior vice president of continuous improvement, procurement, and sustainability. "This year, Kimberly-Clark is providing an extra incentive for our global team members: the Kimberly-Clark Foundation will donate US$0.10 to the League of American Bicyclists for every mile logged by a Kimberly-Clark employee during the 2012 challenge."

Endomondo, a social fitness network with 7.5 million users worldwide, provides the online interface for the National Bike Challenge. "Riding a bike for transportation is among the top five activities for our European users, and we look forward to helping expand this kind of biking in the U.S. with this campaign," said Mette Lykke, co-Founder of Endomondo. "Logging your miles is easy and the social interaction with co-workers, family and friends really makes it fun and motivating to get up and ride."

The National Bike Challenge runs from 1 May to 31 August, 2012, but the public is invited to sign up now at www.nationalbikechallenge.org or facebook.com/nationalbikechallenge. 

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