Ideas for getting riders signed up for the National Bike Challenge…

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byogman
Member
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So, we’re off to a fine start and all. But I don’t think I’m the only one who’s slightly annoyed to see Madison way ahead.

I joked “Danny, we need you”, and of course, that would help. What would help more is getting as many riders signed up as possible and have them log as much as possible.

So this thread will be for throwing ideas around on how to do it.

My first idea, question really… do you need an approval to put up signs on the jail trail? Presumably, but from whom?

If this is too much of PITA and/or signs are likely to get defaced or stolen, and to be clear, I’m not ~suggesting~ this… but, if someone with an artistic inclination decided that at least some of the graffiti on the jail trail should be related to a certain bike challenge, that would at least be fitting.


P-Rob
Participant
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If it were possible to access the data from the smartphone app, I am sure that there would be institutions willing to promote the NBC. For instance, if some demographic and route data were available you could get promotional help from the Breathe Project folks. BikePGH is a member of the coalition, so maybe there is already something cooking.

The County Health Department could use data on activity levels for all ages – hence the desire for both demographic and activity tracking information. Even PennDOT might hop on board.


P-Rob
Participant
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I am looking up cycling clubs and posting on their FB pages about Cleveland and the challenge,


melange396
Participant
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If it were possible to access the data … I am sure that there would be institutions willing to promote the NBC.

that is a fantastic idea. i wonder if endomondo has facilities in place for doing data analysis or retrieval. you might need to opt-in because of privacy concerns, or there may be a way to anonymize the data.


Mick
Participant
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I’m curious – why are folks psyched to do this?

I see some free beer and even though I joked about that, it’s not a motivation for me.

I have a hard time keeping track of what I do at work, why add something else? Why should I do this?


gimpPAC
Participant
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I see no problem “graffiting” the bike paths with chalk or some sort of temporary substance that is easy to remove.


gimpPAC
Participant
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Mick wrote:I’m curious – why are folks psyched to do this?

I’m doing it because it’s a nice friendly competition with other cities in the nation AND since I’ve been a lazy ass thus far this year, knowing that my points are helping my team stay ahead of the standing gives me one more reason to choose my bike over my car. And there are some prize drawings to win, but that’s not my main reason.

Plus, since I have a smart phone and the Endomondo app, it’s pretty stupid easy to log the miles since it can track your route as you ride. (though setting up a route manually after the fact is also pretty darn easy, and if you have a regular route you ride, you can simply save the route and pull that up each time you log)


edmonds59
Participant
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Data. Mick you’re some kind of statistician or something aren’t you? Numbers, miles, people doing this attempt to demonstrate to the powers what be that this isn’t some freak fringe activity. This is real business.
Uggh, reduced to providing a serious answer to something, some part of my brain is squirmy. Ewww.
Plus all the cool kids are doin it.


Mick
Participant
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How is the data used? (serious question) Is this being actively used by some advocacy organization?

I have no desire to compete with my Clevelonian brethren. For me, that kind of boosterism is a disincentive.


mr marvelous
Participant
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I didn’t log my miles last year because… well I just didn’t feel like it. I often forgot my garmin or it was out of charge and I always had a good idea about the miles I ride. I’m doing it this year to support the Flock team but other than that the city competition just isn’t that exciting.


P-Rob
Participant
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I think anything that gets people out riding is good. Some obviously do (or don’t) get into the PGH vs CLE thing. Some don’t track their miles because they don’t feel the need to.

I see this as an opportunity to draw people into an event that might have unknown dividends in the future. I intend to look into the availability of the data. That kind of info is golden when working with levels of government about who rides, when do they ride, where, etc.

There is a lot of value to open discussion – but data analytics creates a more objective tool for both planning and advocacy. We are often tasked with “proving” concepts based on traffic counts. And without 24/7 monitoring you just won’t be able to prove to some folks that it is really happening.

So a crowd sourced data set would be great. And it really would have value as a marketing and research source of data.


P-Rob
Participant
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I am participating in this because a friend of mine is one of the organizers/antagonists from Cleveland. And because after 2 knee surgeries I got depressed and overweight. This is getting me back in the saddle, and with some support in shutting down all the smack talk from Shelly.


Benzo
Participant
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I’m just in it for the free beer. I don’t track my riding much normally.


mr marvelous
Participant
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I don’t drink so if I win free beer I’ll just give it away to one of you.


danny.yabs
Member
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The best way to get other Pittsburghers interested and involved is to get the local media networks to cover it, and the best way to get media interested is by hyping a Rust Belt Rivalry. If anyone has any media leads (no matter if they’re big or small, KDKA or neighborhood newsletters) you should get them to cover the challenge.

Here’s a press release to circulate

http://bikepgh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/For-Immediate-Release-PGH-v.-CLE-in-the-National-Bike-Challenge-1.pdf


J Z
Participant
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EVERY bike trip counts for points, be it for recreation, transportation or fitness

“All riders of any age can win up to 5 free drinks, be them alcoholic or non”

I ran it by our proto-cyclists, they seemed down with the idea of competing and riding, plus it motivated the DW to get in some mileage when I gave her a hard time about our 5 year old being ranked higher than her (which is still true, since we went and looked at the bald eagle nest).


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I track my own mileage simply for my own benefit, then post screen captures of the monthly calendar summary on my Facebook page.

I think it’s handy to be able to point to a specific day and say, “Oh yeah, that 50-mile day, that was the day I rode with the Crush The Commonwealth riders to McKeesport”.


scott
Keymaster
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Just hit 1000 riders! Please help us promote it going into Bike to Work Day. Just cut and paste the link and put it on your social media of choice. Our goal is 1250 participants and it would be amazing to hit that by May 17th.


byogman
Member
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We’ve got 1016 per last check. So, that’s pretty nice to hit in the same day of the request. May 17th isn’t much time, 1250 would be amazing indeed. We’ll see how far we can get. I’ll keep bugging commuters I see stowing their bikes at BNY Mellon.

I’m watching the mileage total right now. Right now we’re at 36696 vs. 37029 for Madison. So, within 1%. I have to believe that us and Madison (not some 200,000 or fewer population) city are the only ones seriously in contention for the lead on mileage total registrants and riders.

I think we should try and own mileage, not just total registrants and riders. I will get more diligent about the just post lunch at desk ride and make a point to crank out a few more miles than just my commute if I can get moving at a good enough time in the morning.


steevo
Participant
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Maybe dont use endomondo. It is the worst site I have ever used.


cburch
Participant
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The thing is, the challenge was created by endomondo as a promotional campaign so it would be pretty hard to uncouple the two.


helen s
Participant
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Any time I start to get frustrated with computers, I think about how slow it was to use a manual typewriter and send things through the mail. The Endomondo site is way better than that!


Ahlir
Participant
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The Endomondo website does suck, royally. But I took the time to figure it out: Click on the brand-name on the top of the page. This gets you to your “home page”. No it doesn’t look like one. Look down the left-hand side. Your cumulative stats are there, in a gray block. Just above should be the click to the NBC tables. Once there, it should be obvious how to navigate.

On your “home” page, just below the banner, is a tool bar. Click on “training”. This gives you a sub-toolbar. “Workouts” is the useful one. Check out the others some other time.

I originally thought that this whole record-keeping thing would be a major pain. But then I downloaded their (android) app and found that he whole thing was simple: click once at the start of a ride, click again at the end. By the majic of the internets all your ride details are uploaded and logged into the NBC. Better yet, all sorts of stuff shows up on the website. If you happen to have any Quantified Self tendencies you will absolutely love this.

The most useful record (for me) is the GPS path data. I mostly tend to ride around semi-randomly, depending on the traffic lights or whatever. At the end I sort of know where I’ve been, but not really. The Endomondo shows me what I actually did. It also lets me figure out that next time maybe I should really go up that other street and see something new. This is way cool.

Also, it’s nice to know (I think) that I’ve managed to ride out all of 23 hamburgers. They also tell you how far you’ve gone around the earth / to the moon, though not how many cows you’ve saved. Maybe they could offer alternate metrics, like how many beers you’ve downed. Something more of us could relate to.


edmonds59
Participant
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The GPS is iffy (iphone 4). The one time I bothered to record a ride home from work downtown, it caught a signal spike from somewhere on the North Side, gave me an extra 2 miles in less than a minute, and gave me a top speed of 116 mph. Which would have been cool had it only been true.
So now I just manually poke in the mileage I know to be right.


byogman
Member
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I too have found the GPS to be iffy. Sometimes it doesn’t dial in at all, sometimes I get what edmonds59 mentioned, some really funny stuff looking at elevations downtown (I’m not sure how they do elevation but the buildings are clearly messing things up).

But it’s easy looking at the trace to separate signal from noise. And it feels like the free mileage and lost mileage from GPS are roughly cancelling so I don’t really feel much need to correct anything.

And I do love having the trace. It lets me reconstruct route in case of wandering, or see about how I pace up certain hills, for instance. And for cranking out miles on the river and getting an ideal conditions flat pace which I did a couple times since the challenge started just to see, it worked perfectly.

YMMV, but I think it’s an ok enough app, and (annoying nav pattern aside) ok enough site.


Beth
Participant
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iamdan901 wrote:The best way to get other Pittsburghers interested and involved is to get the local media networks to cover it, and the best way to get media interested is by hyping a Rust Belt Rivalry. If anyone has any media leads (no matter if they’re big or small, KDKA or neighborhood newsletters) you should get them to cover the challenge.

Here’s a press release to circulate

http://bikepgh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/For-Immediate-Release-PGH-v.-CLE-in-the-National-Bike-Challenge-1.pdf

We got some! He was in the Keg Ride too.

Newsbreak with Mike Pound.


salty
Participant
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More media, from KDKA yesterday morning – BTWD + Bike Challenge up front, followed by some other stuff: http://media.pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/CBSPIT_1305201309482838357AA.mp4


byogman
Member
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Nice to see some media. I’m not sure how much more it’ll get unless it’s close though. Which at present doesn’t look so likely.

I know I’ve flogged this several times, but I think what it needs is a more memorable name… can we hype a Madison Mileage Match?


edmonds59
Participant
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Thanks to our US educashumal system, the average person won’t have enough awareness of “Madison” to feel any emotional movement. I’ll bet most wouldn’t be able to identify that it’s “Wisconsin”.
Now maybe if it was the “Green Bay Grudge”, there might be something. We are educated primarily through ESPN.
edit; “Cheesehead Challenge”.

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