Has it been awhile since you’ve experienced the joy of bicycling? It certainly was for Ron Cole, Jr. Last year, he joined the Shasta Bike Challenge, despite the fact that he had not ridden a bike in more than 20 years.  Goes to show, it’s never too late to get back on the bike!  The Shasta Bike Challenge is now recruiting workplace and school teams to encourage more people to try bicycling more often in our community for fun, recreation and transportation. 

The Shasta Bike Challenge partners with the National Bike Challenge to offer participants an interactive website and phone apps to track trips, as well as an opportunity to win prizes both nationally and locally – including a new bike for one lucky Shasta County participant.  Participants are entered into a free drawing each day they ride a bicycle and record their bike trip between May 1 and 31, 2017. Each bicycle ride also counts toward local workplace and school team awards.  Not only can participants get entered into a free drawing each day they ride a bicycle to work or school, they may also count recreation bicycle rides and transportation rides to other destinations. 

Last year, the Shasta Bike Challenge was the impetus for getting Ron to start riding his bike to work. He continues to ride 7-10 miles a day, nearly a year after the Challenge, to his job at The Bravo Program. He also rides Saturdays just for fun, and sometimes uses RABA to transport his bike to ride in different areas or further distances. His co-workers provide encouragement and healthy snacks. Ron learned that signing up was the hardest part. Once he started riding, he took it slowly, adding more distance each ride. “Now I can’t wait to get on my bike and ride!” Ron exclaims. After just two weeks of riding in last year’s Challenge, he had more energy and had lost 25 pounds – just from riding his bike.

Team captains who register their workplace or school based team (with 5 or more participants) by April 27 will be able to pick up a swag bag with lights, water bottles, patch kits, posters, maps and more to help their team succeed.   Packet pick-up will be at the Spring Spin Kick-off Celebration at the Sundial Bridge on Thursday, April 27, from 4 to 7 pm.

Other Bike Month events, including the Spring Spin Celebration, several bike socials at local restaurants, Women on Wheels bicycle safety class, free pancakes courtesy of the Trails and Bikeways Council, opportunities to ride with transportation officials, and much more will take place throughout May.

Sign up your team or register as an individual at www.shastabikechallenge.org.

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Shasta Bike Month & Challenge is supported by: Healthy Shasta, Shasta Wheelmen, Shasta Safe Routes to School, Redding Electric Utility, Owens Healthcare, Shasta Regional Transportation Agency, Caltrans District 2, Redding Area Bus Authority (RABA), Chain Gang, First 5 Shasta, Jefferson Public Radio, Sports LTD, The Bike Shop, Bikes Etc., Pedego Electric Bikes, Trails & Bikeways Council of Greater Redding, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Village Cycle, Abby & Nick Webb, Shasta County Health & Human Services Agency, Fusion Lounge, Shasta Living Streets, City of Redding, Redding Trail Alliance, Redding Mountain Biking Club, Headwaters Adventure Company, Rare Air Trampoline Park, and Shasta Rock Club.