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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051

    Two Mile Challenge

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    We are planning a Two Mile Challenge for October. A two-mile-challenge is here you leave the car at home for some, most, or all of the short trips. Only because 2 miles isn't a challenge at all for many people, or much too great a challenge for many, it's actually "create your own challenge". There are 3 rules. The first rule is we don't talk about...er, wrong game. Sorry.

    The rules:
    1. Your challenge must feature active transportation.
    2. Your challenge must be a challenge for you. It might be a One Mile Challenge or it might be a No Car Diet.
    3. You have to write about your experiences on our blog at least once a week.

    I'm hoping for 10-20 participants, but just talking about it informally I've already got several people committed to doing it. We'll have a party at the end. I'm getting business to donate coupons etc for participant packets, and I hope to acquire some prizes. I want to give out prizes for most miles biked, most miles walked, most extreme, most dramatic change, etc. Basically I want everyone to get a prize and a packet. The new orthopaedic surgeon has been giving out metal water bottles with him name on them like candy at races, and when I asked him if he'd supply them to our participant packets he not only agreed instantly but also said he wants to do the 2 mile challenge.

    We're going to offer social rides/ guided rides/ walks to give people opportunities to achieve their goals. The other LCI and I are going to teach Traffic Skills 101 the last Saturday in September. I'm going to ask the Bike Co-op and the 2 "real" mechanics in town to do some tune-ups. We'll offer a consultation before it starts to help people design their challenge and figure out their obstacles, like transporting kids, looking & smelling nice when they get to work, or they live 30 miles away (no public transit around here).

    I'm super excited about this. I don't yet know what my challenge will be. I'm thinking a no-car diet, depending on what my daughter has going on that month.

    It'll probably have a different name. I'm just calling it "Two Mile Challenge" until we figure out what to call it. Several of the doctors in town are exercise enthusiasts, and are good sponsors of race events. They might want to sponsor some of the prizes and we could call it the Physician's Challenge. (Ideas welcome!)
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    I'll join you virtually! Hopefully it cools down a little by October.
    I love the idea and commend you for starting it! Way to go!
    How will you keep track of accountability? Do people have to check in weekly or just keep track for the month? Will prizes be determined by random drawing?
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,375
    Yes, are you looking for locals, or can we join virtually? My plans to commute this year were derailed by road construction, and now i'm getting over pneumonia.
    I know October is a long way away, but I've been so sick for so long that it might be great to really go for something hard in October - commuting 4 days/wk would be a good challenge for me.
    Oh - and using the bike for 50% of all of my shopping - that would be huge challenge for me, if it counts.
    My photoblog
    http://dragons-fly-peacefully.blogspot.com/
    Bacchetta Giro (recumbent commuter)
    Bacchetta Corsa (recumbent "fast" bike)
    Greespeed X3 (recumbent "just for fun" trike)
    Strada Velomobile
    I will never buy another bike!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,628
    I too would be interested in virtually joining in. I keep telling myself - tomorrow you have to start riding the bike to work at least 2-3 days a week. Then tomorrow comes and goes and I don't do it. Yet again, I'm telling myself that tonight. We'll see what happens come tomorrow. I'd like to get myself riding to do my grocery shopping as well, at least part of the time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    This got me to thinking...but work is 23 miles one way, the grocery store is 12...I moved where I did to have easy riding access to my country roads but it has me so far from everything else. This means the only short trips are to put gas in my car

    Still, I would like to at least attempt a bike commute to work this year, late October might be a fine time for that...You got me to thinking about it at least, though you probably aren't looking for participants in Indiana

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,375
    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    This got me to thinking...but work is 23 miles one way, the grocery store is 12...I moved where I did to have easy riding access to my country roads but it has me so far from everything else. This means the only short trips are to put gas in my car

    Still, I would like to at least attempt a bike commute to work this year, late October might be a fine time for that...You got me to thinking about it at least, though you probably aren't looking for participants in Indiana
    Is there a park-n-ride lot somewhere? I know many people who drive 1/2 way and ride the rest. My commute is 13 miles 1-way, that is quite doable and takes slow me 1 hr. Just an idea.
    My photoblog
    http://dragons-fly-peacefully.blogspot.com/
    Bacchetta Giro (recumbent commuter)
    Bacchetta Corsa (recumbent "fast" bike)
    Greespeed X3 (recumbent "just for fun" trike)
    Strada Velomobile
    I will never buy another bike!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Maybe we could do a simultaneous 2-mile challenge here at TE. The one I'm planning is restricted to locals as far as the participant packets & prizes. But here at TE we already have a forum, we just start a new thread in October, and we don't need prizes etc.

    And the TE community is better qualified for "consultations" than any one member!

    Catrin, a 23 mile commute would be super impressive! Or you could consider alternatives. Drive halfway (or more) and bike the rest, leaving your car in a church or business parking lot (with permission). Or drive one way, bike home, bike in the next way, drive home.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Oh, I didn't mean to ask about the prizes for us.

    I was actually wondering how you were going to do it, because I thought that might be something fun to do at my work (stealing your idea and all). I like the idea. My bike to work challenge in May didn't go over too well. I'm not done trying to get my lazy co-workers to get off their duffs and move!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,375
    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Girl View Post
    Oh, I didn't mean to ask about the prizes for us.

    I was actually wondering how you were going to do it, because I thought that might be something fun to do at my work (stealing your idea and all). I like the idea.
    I was thinking we could maybe pair up with 'real' people in the challenge. Then if my partner got a prize, I'd go buy myself something
    I like this idea, lets do it.
    My only comment is, if we are going to virtually do it, why wait until October - why not start in 100 degree September. Heck, it's August first, i could start tomorrow.
    My photoblog
    http://dragons-fly-peacefully.blogspot.com/
    Bacchetta Giro (recumbent commuter)
    Bacchetta Corsa (recumbent "fast" bike)
    Greespeed X3 (recumbent "just for fun" trike)
    Strada Velomobile
    I will never buy another bike!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Quote Originally Posted by TsPoet View Post
    I was thinking we could maybe pair up with 'real' people in the challenge. Then if my partner got a prize, I'd go buy myself something
    hee hee- any excuse to buy something new. If my person lost, I would buy something to console myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by TsPoet View Post
    My only comment is, if we are going to virtually do it, why wait until October - why not start in 100 degree September. Heck, it's August first, i could start tomorrow.
    Uh... I don't want to die. That's why!
    The latest day we've ever had 100 in August is the 17th (since they started keeping records). The first 10 days in August are at 106 or higher. This is not looking good. I'm seriously hoping that it cools off by October.. or August 11th. I can't take this anymore.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,628
    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Girl View Post
    Oh, I didn't mean to ask about the prizes for us.

    I was actually wondering how you were going to do it, because I thought that might be something fun to do at my work (stealing your idea and all). I like the idea. My bike to work challenge in May didn't go over too well. I'm not done trying to get my lazy co-workers to get off their duffs and move!
    I didn't even notice the thing about prizes. I was just looking for motivation and accountability.

    Though I can offer this - I'm a bit addicted to 'customizing', meaning I've made a number of things that have my 'team' logo (my family/friends who run and ride to kick cancer's butt, all in my sister's name). So, I have a couple of cycling things with our team name/logo on it. I sell them to put the money back to fundraising. But I have a bit of stock, shall we say. Long story a bit less long - I could send a prize or two to people in our challenge here.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    493
    I hear you about wanting to wait for a little less heat, TriGirl! It's forecast to get up to 113 here today. Our highest temperature ever was 114. But then it's supposed to "cool down" to just 100-105 the rest of the week. I hear that down in Oklahoma it will "stay hot" - I heard OKC is forecast to be 110+ today and tomorrow and then 105+ the rest of the week. I'm really tired of it, and you're probably hotter! Ugh! Is this part of the country trying to spontaneously combust or what?

    On the two-mile challenge, we had a local challenge here a few years ago called the "walk across Kansas." The idea was that Kansas is 400 miles east to west, so you could put together teams (of 4) and log your walking (or running, cycling or exercising) to try for a total of 400 miles. Running a mile counted for 5 miles (or maybe it was 3 miles?), cycling a mile counted for 1 mile (?), and 20 minutes of vigorous exercise counted for a certain number of miles depending on the intensity of the workout, etc.

    I know this is different from the two-mile challenge, but I wanted to throw out the ideas of how the teams and substituting worked for that event. Maybe if you have a team in a two-mile challenge that has members in the city with short commutes and errands and members in the country with longer commutes and errands, you could have "goal points" - ?
    Last edited by Deborajen; 08-02-2011 at 05:35 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Girl View Post
    I was actually wondering how you were going to do it, because I thought that might be something fun to do at my work (stealing your idea and all). I like the idea. My bike to work challenge in May didn't go over too well. I'm not done trying to get my lazy co-workers to get off their duffs and move!
    This certainly is not an original idea, I'm stealing it from several places. I don't know where I heard of it first. Clif Bars is doing a Two Mile Challenge and I think August is the last month of it.

    So feel free to steal anything you like.

    A cliche I keep hearing when people talk about bike/ped is "low hanging fruit". I'm starting to hate the term but there is something to the concept. Instead of going after your lazy and resistant co-workers, you go after people who are already doing it or on the verge of doing it, who don't need much incentive or prodding to try it (or increase what they are already doing). Get experience, build momentum, then go after the more difficult tasks.

    Quote Originally Posted by TSPoet
    I was thinking we could maybe pair up with 'real' people in the challenge. Then if my partner got a prize, I'd go buy myself something
    I like that! Pairing you all up with people in Kirksville, MO will help them feel motivated, it will be kind of a buddy-system, an extra resource for them. That's awesome! When we get a bit closer to October, I'll have people pm me if they want to be a buddy to one of our commuters. (And you can feel free to buy yourself something to celebrate your buddy's success, or console yourself on his/her failure, TriGirl! lol)

    We can definitely start a two-mile challenge of our own long before October. The reason I picked October is because it is further away than September. (August is still too hot for most people here.) When I did the No Car Diet in 2007, it was in September. Once during that month I rode 25 miles one-way to go for a 20 mile bike ride. And then 25 miles home. A 70 mile day so I could ride 20 miles with friends! It was beautiful weather all month.

    Deborajen, I like the substitution thing, and teams. I'll keep it in mind for future events--I want to keep it simple this year. Or, the team concept is definitely something we could do here on TE. And Possegal could send the winning team a bit of schwag!

    I'm continually amazed at how many great ideas people come up with, every time I talk about this project. So fun!
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,063
    It was the Clif 2 mile challenge a while back that got me thinking. I rode for fun, not utility. But, the concept kept nagging at me.

    It took me a while before I put the idea into practice, picking up more and more trips by bike....the dentist, the farmer's market, the grocery. And then I changed jobs and started commuting.

    Now most days my car is a $25K helmet shelf. It goes for a drive every 2 or 3 weeks while my bikes get 200 miles/week (150ish utility miles and 50ish miles of fun). I'm in better shape that ever and stress is way down.

    I love the idea of your challenge and applaud your starting this. A challenge would have been that kick that got me started sooner. That said, our Bike Fed is running a summer time challenge. The goal is 1 million utility miles during the summer months. While I participate, I'm already in the converted....that doesn't mean I don't look forward to see whether I won anything in each month's drawings For ideas ( http://www.endomondo.com/campaign/wi# ) [Note: endomondo is a *terrible* site, but the idea is sound]
    2009 Waterford RS-14 S&S Couplers - Brooks B68-Anatomica - Traveller
    2008 Waterford RS-33 - Brooks B68-Anatomica - Go Fast
    2012 Waterford Commuter - Brooks B68-Anatomica - 3.5-Season/Commuter
    2011 Surly Troll - Brooks B68 Imperial - Snow Beast

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,628
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    And Possegal could send the winning team a bit of schwag!
    Absolutely!

 

 

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