Guide for Businesses
This document explains how to involve your company in the National Bike Challenge and provides tips on how to engage employees. The guide is divided into four sections:
- What is the Challenge
- Why Participate in the Challenge
- Make the Challenge Work for You
- Sample Email to Your Employees
I. What is the Challenge
The National Bike Challenge is a free and fun program to help people across the US improve their health, save on transportation, and protect the environment. The Challenge is a free and easy way to challenge yourself, your colleagues and your community to ride more while competing on a local, state and national level. The Challenge provides a way to promote teamwork within your business, create a healthier workplace, and get people excited about bicycling.
- An exciting program that encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation.
- It is open and free to anyone who lives in the U.S. or works for an organization with U.S. employees.
- The program runs for five months: May 1, 2013 September 30, 2013
II. Why participate in the Challenge?
- Fun: This is a team-building experience that will help create a healthy workplace. Participants can enjoy a healthier lifestyle and have a chance to win prizes.
- Health: Encouraging participation in the Challenge will help make your workplace healthier!
- Economics: Employees can reduce car maintenance, fuel and parking expenses. Employers will benefit from reduced health care and transportation related costs.
- Enviroment: Biking reduces emissions and greenhouse gases, and nearly 50 percent of all trips in metropolitan areas are three miles or less and 28 percent are one mile or less distances easily covered by bicycle!
- Promotion: The Challenge is a free and easy way to offer a local/statewide bike competition and participate in the national event. It provides data, healthy competition and a way to promote your organization or business.
- Celebration: Joining the Challenge is a great way to kick off National Bike Month and build relationships within your own organization as well as with local, state, regional and national business communities.
III. Make the Challenge Work for You
- Upper Management Support. Get upper management on board. Ask if a manager would be willing to send an email encouraging employees to participate and/or get involved in the Challenge by creating a team of their own. You can even create teams within your organization to encourage internal competition!
- Join the Challenge. Join the Challenge as an individual and record your organization’s name. Make sure to follow the next step to have your colleagues join your organization.
- Publicize the Challenge. Notify everyone in your company that your organization has joined the Challenge. Send colleagues a link to the Challenge and encourage them to join (www.nationalbikechallenge.org). In your email, make sure to include the spelling of your organization’s name (having multiple spellings will create multiple workplace accounts). Promote the Challenge by using the customizable posters http://www.endomondo.com/campaign/national/marketingmaterial and email (below) announcing the program. Place the posters promoting the Challenge in high traffic areas and distribute news via intranet and/or email.
- Help People Join. Provide instructions on how to join http://www.endomondo.com/campaign/national/welcome. The Challenge begins in May, but a warm-up period will run until April 30. The warm-up period allows participants time to join and get acquainted with the system before the Challenge begins.
- Lunch and Learn. A "lunch and learn" is a chance for staff to get together and learn about the Challenge. Invite a local speaker from a bike shop or advocacy group to talk about bike safety, commuting tops, or other useful and fun information about riding.
During the Challenge
- Provide Organizational Incentives. Consider developing an internal prize program to provide additional incentives for participation. For example, have a drawing or an award each month for participants or for top riders/teams. Prizes could include gift certificates, mugs, a Challenge jersey, http://www.endomondo.com/campaign/national/jersey etc.
- Local Rides. List local riders on your organization’s website or another place where staff can find it. If you want to connect with a local bike club, find one here http://findit.bikeleague.org/search/
- Bike to Work Breakfast. Set up a breakfast as an award for participants who are supporting the program by biking to work. Make sure to let people know about the event in advance!
- Leadership Involvement. Get your CEO/President and senior leadership staff to participate in an organizational ride. This can be a fun way to get more people involved!
- Leaderboard. The "Leaderboard" is the list of participants on the homepage, sorted by the points each person has. From here, you can see the top riders in your organization, as well as the standings for the teams (if there are multiple teams).
End it with Style!
- Announce. Send an email or put up a poster announcing the top finishers in your workplace (ask permission from winners first).
- Celebrate. Invite everyone who participated to a Challenge Celebration. Provide a presentation where acknowledgements can be made, thanks to upper management for their support, and have an award ceremony for the winners. Offer a breakfast or refreshments (everyone likes food).
- Evaluate. Provide evaluation findings to management. Include data provided on the Challenge website reduced carbon footprint, calories burned, miles traveled, and dollars saved.
IV. Sample Email to Employees
Make sure that you complete the highlighted area before sending.
Dear Fellow Employee:
I am pleased to announce that [insert your company name] has signed up for the 2013 National Bike Challenge! The Challenge starts May 1 and runs through September 30, 2013.
I encourage employees to sign up for the Challenge and create a team within our workplace or join an existing team within our workplace.
Join the Challenge at: www.nationalbikechallenge.org. Click the "Join" button and become a new user, or join via your Facebook profile. You now have the chance to list your workplace. Make sure to write it in exactly as [insert your company name], so that you will be counted with us!
To learn more about the Challenge, visit www.nationalbikechallenge.org.
The Challenge has many great prizes, and each month prizes will be given away to reward Challenge participants. The more you bike, the better your chance of winning (and the better the prizes) will be! Click here to view the prize list: http://www.endomondo.com/campaign/national/prizes. If you have any additional internal prizes available, list them here!
Thank you. I hope that you will join us in the 2013 National Bike Challenge!