National Bike Challenge rolls to a finish after 12 million miles

After a collective journey of more than 12 million miles that spanned all 50 states, the 2012 National Bike Challenge passed the finish line on August 31.

In just four months, the friendly, online competition — sponsored by Kimberly-Clark Corporation, League of American Bicyclists, Endomondo and Bikes Belong — engaged more than 30,000 Americans from coast to coast. The initiative encouraged new cyclists to start riding, challenged current bicyclists to ride more and showcased the tremendous health and financial benefits of bicycling.

Through the interactive Endomondo website, Facebook group and Twitter feed, the National Bike Challenge created a vibrant, virtual community of thousands of cyclists who inspired and encouraged each other on a daily basis to lose weight, leave the car in the driveway and reach their individual goals.

Among individuals, Michael Lemuel took first place in the competition, riding more than 16,000 miles over the four-month period. A disabled veteran, living on a fixed income in Topeka, Kan., Lemeul credits the Challenge with increased stamina — and self-confidence. 

In addition to encouraging individual riders, more than 9,000 workplaces participated in the Challenge, using the initiative as a free, fun wellness tool for employees. The winners in the workplace categories (based on number of employees) included IBM, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Trek Bicycle Corp, Shimano, Toole Design Group, Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin and BikeArlington.

Although the 2012 competition has ended, participants can continue tracking their miles through Endomondo until the end of the year.

And everyone is encourage to join the Challenge on Facebook and Twitter to continue to build a national community of cyclists — and be the first to know about BIG PLANS for the Challenge in 2013.

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