A little motivation — especially in the guise of a challenge — can do wonders to get people on bicycles. This month CLIF Bar & Company, the maker of sports nutrition and healthy snacks, announced its commitment to support bicycle advocacy nonprofits nationwide.
This week the company kicked off the sixth annual 2 Mile Challenge, and partnered with cyclists to donated $100,000 to bike advocacy nonprofits. The goal here is to get riders to opt for pedal power instead of driving for distances two miles or less. In the US, 40 percent of all urban trips are two miles or less, and 90 percent of those trips are currently made by car.
The thinking behind the challenge is that if one of 10 car commuters switched to a bike, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 25.4 million tons per year (US Dept. of Transportation).
This year, every bike trip logged by riders in the challenge is worth $1 for a regional bike advocacy nonprofit, and CLIF Bar will select a new group month with the nationwide campaign providing up to $100,000 for the grassroots groups this year. “Joining the 2 Mile Challenge is an easy way to do something good for the environment, while having fun and interacting with the bike community,” said Ryan Mayo, environmental activism manager at Clif Bar & Company, in a statement. “As a company that makes food to support people on-the-go, we strive to help sustain the planet for a better future and hope to inspire others to make small changes in their everyday lives to protect the places where people play.”
One of CLIF's many incentives, a prized CLIF Bar Bike Love trucker hat
Already the efforts are underway, and in May the 2 Mile Challenge donated $6,590 to BikeWalkKC of Kansas City, while the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition will reap the rewards of the challenge in June.
CLIF Bar is also lending its support to National Bike Month and the CLIF Bar Bike Week Challenge, which encourages groups at the local community level to also get involved in cycling. CLIF Bar, working with GOOD Magazine, launched the challenge and has also been looking for creative ideas from communities. From May 14th to June 11th GOOD and Clif Bar have provided a toolkit to local organizations with tools to promote efforts in the social media and web platforms.
And on June 12 the ideas will be made open for review to biking community, where the idea with the most votes will win a $1,000 grand.
Social media is also going to play a role in the 2 Mile Challenge, as users can take advantage of the BioLogic Bike Brain iPhone app.