For 2019 the participants in the National Bike Challenge from Fairfax County road hard and posted good numbers. But, we fell behind other localities that had more riders, dropping from last year’s fourth place finish to seventh.
This annual biking event, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, seeks to encourage people to ride more and to invite new riders to join them. Fairfax will need to do better in this area next year as we dropped from 197 riders in 2018 to just 126 this year.
Still, our riders road more than 140,000 miles in just under 9,000 trips between May and September. More impressively, our participants logged an average of 70 trips per rider. In comparison, this year’s fourth place finisher, Shawnee Trail, Texas, averaged only 46 trips per rider.
Fairfax also helped Virginia to do well in its category, moving from third place in 2018 to second place in 2019 in communities of 8 to 12 million residents.
Congratulations to everyone who participated, especially the new riders. Even if you didn’t win any of the available prizes, everyone won because biking provides health benefits ranging from heart health and improved immunity through better sleep to increased mental acuity and better mental health. And, there is no reason to wait until next year to encourage others to bike more. Do your friends a favor and keep inviting them to go biking.