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How the National Bike Challenge Positively Impacts Cyclists in Santa Monica

The National Bike Challenge has swept through the Santa Monica cycling culture and empowered avid and new riders alike. Team Bike Santa Monica, a community-inspired team aimed at encouraging all skill-level riders, young and old, to keep track of their miles ridden each day and log them for the team. This camaraderie has given traction to several excellent cycling events, happy hours, socials, and rides that have benefited and improved the overall cycling fabric and community in Santa Monica.

The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event but its focus is to unite communities, businesses, and individuals to reduce their environmental impact by commuting by bike. But no worries! The Bike Challenge is for ‘fun-riding’ too.

Photo: 63% have invited a friend to participate in the Challenge 
31% have experienced weight loss 
51% have improved well-being 
35% report riding twice as often or more than they did prior

Melissa Koepke can be found at the Bike Center in the early morning hours of the week. There to help support cyclists commuting by bike to the Bike Center, Melissa observes every day the importance of the bike center’s role in aiding bike commuters. A new and devoted bike commuter herself, the National Bike Challenge has been an added bonus in helping and encouraging Melissa to get on her bike every morning instead of driving. Here is a look into how the National Bike Challenge has positively impacted one rider’s life:

How has the National Bike Challenge impacted or changed your view of commuting by bike?

 I have always enjoyed commuting by bike. However, at first, I felt like I was doing it because I “had to”. After seeing SO many others commute by bike, it has made me appreciate my small commute that much more!

Has the National Bike Challenge empowered you through the use of quantifiable statistics? (ie mileage/week, money saved, calories burned)

I never added up the miles I would ride in a week until the bike challenge. It definitely makes me feel good to see the amount of miles I’ve ridden since the start of the challenge. It pushes me to want to do even more miles!

How would you describe the positive impacts of cycling in your life? Has the National Bike Challenge influenced your views?

I began cycling and gave up driving after my Mom passed away. For me, it is therapeutic. I needed a way to find peace. And then it just turned into being something that centered me and became a part of everyday life. I can’t imagine having to drive everyday like I did before!

Photo: Check out the new homepage image!

So far, Team Bike Santa Monica has pedaled over 65,000 miles, burned over 3 million calories, saved over $37,000 in fuel costs, and saved almost 60,000 pounds of carbon dioxide that would have been expended into the atmosphere if reach rider had driven a car instead of cycled. Each rider is able to see their individual impact and how their efforts improve month by month. By utilizing the quantifiable data the National Bike Challenge provides, we hope to encourage and get more people on bikes, and to finish strong in the overall Challenge period ending September 30, 2014!

If you would like to join Team Bike Santa Monica, sign up at or email


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