Despite the recent rainy mornings, cyclists are dusting off their bikes and getting ready for the spring and summer riding seasons. You've heard biking to work can help you stay fit and save you money at the gas pump. But, there's another way you can be rewarded for taking a two wheel commute.
Rain or shine, Heidi Cline says, "I'm used to riding in the rain, so it doesn't really bother me to do it."
Cline says she makes her eight mile trek to work by bike most days. She says, "I just love it. It makes me feel great."
And, the DuPont Pioneer Senior Research Associate isn't alone. Co-worker Jeff Reiland also takes the trails to work most days of the week. He says, "I come from Waukee, and it's about 13 to 15 miles depending on the route."
The two teamed up last May to get their colleagues to join their two wheel commute. About 70 employees signed up for the Des Moines Bicycle Collective's Commuter Challenge. They were able to log their rides on Bike Month Iowa's website. Cline says, "And you can even challenge people through the bike commute software, so I know there were friendly competitions going on amongst people as well."
1,000 central Iowans signed up for the first commuter challenge. Organizers say they want to double the number this year. The group also added a passport adventure for recreational riders. Spokesperson Tina Hadden says, "Once you register you will receive a passport. And, in that passport, if you get 5 stamps you will get a prize. If you get 10 stamps, 15 stamps you get prizes, and then you can go into a grand prize drawing."
Prizes include gift cards to local bike shops and restaurants. Organizers say it's free to register, and signing up helps the Des Moines Bicycle Collective improve the cycling experience in central Iowa. Hadden says, "Those numbers help us when we're talking to decision makers about bike lanes and bike racks. It helps the business community make decisions about bicycle amenities, such as showers, bike racks."
Cline and Reiland say they have all that where they work, which they say makes a cycling commute easier to try. Reiland says, "Once you get out and do it, it's like: wow, that was really easy. I can do this more than I do, or even every day, if you're close enough."
The Des Moines Bicycle Collective has thirty events planned for bike month in May. You can sign up for the commuter challenge or passport adventure by going to the Bike Month Iowa website.