Cornell’s National Bike Month Contest — a new month long initiative based on the Bike to Work Day model of previous years — has come back to campus in May through a revamped model that includes ride-logging, challenges and a variety of prizes to encourage participation from bikers all over the world, not just the Cornell students and staff.
The contest organizers, Cornell Transportation and Delivery Services, Cornell Wellness and Cornell Recreational Services, launched a National Bike Month Contest for the first time this year that has almost reached its goal of 500 with a current 433 participants. In past years, the event was a one-day, morning event that culminated in a free breakfast for bikers.
The prizes were chosen to appeal to a range of people, with items such as power banks catered to the Cornell Tech campus in New York City and plenty of Cornell gear for students.
Contest events throughout the month also feature multiple workshops, including one on bike theft prevention on May 18 hosted by Cornell Police.
The contest was launched in hopes of creating a longer event unaffected by the sporadic weather and to increase biking as a transportation norm, according to Gary Cremeens, manager, outreach, and new media for Cornell University Transportation and Delivery Services and one of the contest organizers.
“This contest is about building relationships between students, staff, and faculty, and promoting a sense of community,” Creemens told The Sun. “It is also to be more healthy, and have an active mind.”
According to Kerry Howell, assistant director of Cornell Wellness and also a contest organizer, the project promotes “being in nature for stress reducing properties, increasing physical activity, and socialization.”
Contest engagement so far has almost doubled last year’s 271 Bike to Work Day participants. There has also been positive social media engagement and significant growth as a result of the contest, according to Cremeens.
Howell said that she does not plan to go back to the previous one-day model.
“This event has been overwhelmingly positive,” Howell said. In the future, she hopes that organizers continue to offer “what we have and raise awareness for everyone about bike safety, sharing roads, and potentially a shift in infrastructure based on changes in the main modes of transportation.”