Bike to School Challenge



Please read our FAQ below to help answer your questions. If that doesn't help, please send an email to  We're eager to help!


PRIZES??!!! How can I win prizes?

Everytime you log a trip to school, your name gets entered into a drawing for awesome prizes. The more often you ride to school, the better your chances are of winning! We'll draw names every week for prizes.  You will be contacted if you are a winner.

Other ways to earn prizes include logging 5 trips by May 11th (the end of the second week of Bike to School Month) to win a free "Get in Gear" shirt, and logging the most trips as a school throughout the month to win the Golden Pedal award and a Bike Blender Party!





It's mid-May and the commute challenge is already in full swing; can I still participate?
Yep. Register anytime during the month, so long as you can log the minimum of four trips before May 31st.

I go to school out-of-state but I want to participate.
Out-of-state students are welcome to use the website and participate in the challenge. However, only participants who live in the Puget Sound area will be eligible for prizes.

What defines a "new" rider?
A new commuter is someone who is new to bicycle riding this year, or someone who has not ridden for five or more years.

What is my team and how to I choose it?  Your team is your school.  When you start typing in your school name, if the school is already there, the words will come up in the "school" entry box.  Choose the name that has already been typed in, rather than typing a different name for your school.  In other words, if "Eckstein Middle School" comes up, then choose it rather than typing "Eckstein"

Who is a captain? or How do I get to be a captain?  We aren't using team captains in 2013, so just ignore the captain status if you get to a window that mentions captain.




What if I bus/carpool/vanpool, etc?
That's great! For some, combining the bike with other modes such as busing or carpooling is the best way to work in a bike ride. You may not be able to ride 27 miles one-way (though some do), but why not ride 1 mile to your carpool meeting place? For reporting mileage, only count the bike portion of your trip. Please do not report any mileage for trips that are extra or recreational.

I sometimes bike the long way home and do work errands by bicycle. Can I include these miles/trips in the contest?
If you do make an extended side trip for training or just plain fun, please subtract those miles when updating your commute calendar.

I made a mistake entering my mileage and need to correct it.
You can correct entries back to the previous Wednesday of the week in question. We cannot and will not retroactively enter mileage for teams.




How do I challenge another rider?

We are not doing challenges this year through our website.  If you want to challenge your friend talk to him or her in person.




What's with all of this "commute rate" and "trips?" What about good ol' fashioned miles?
This year, you have three ways to stack up against the competition. On the rankings pages, all you need to do is click the top header (e.g., "trips") and it will rank the teams or organizations from high to low or low to high. And you long-distance riders, don't worry: we'll be giving out a grand prize for the person that rides the most miles in May. But we also want to recognize frequency of riding for those who happen to live a little closer to where they go to school. 

When will the final standings be posted?
The final standings will be posted June 7th.

How do we calculate CO2?
As you might imagine, this figure would vary depending on a number of factors, but on average, according to the EPA and the Energy Information Administration, for a person driving alone in a vehicle getting 20 miles per gallon under commuting (city) conditions:
Pounds of avoided CO2 emissions = X miles * 0.98 lbs/mile

How do we calculate calories?
Obviously, the number of calories you burn depends on a host of factors unique to each person and ride, so this is definitely an approximation. But based on averages from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here's how we do it:
Miles X 49 calories = total calories burned while cycling
The average person weighing 154 lbs bicycling at 12 mph will burn about 49 calories per mile (extrapolated from an approximate rate of 590 cal/hr). Calories burned per hour will be higher for persons weighing more than 154 lbs and lower for persons who weigh less.This does not take into account hills, the weight of your bicycle, strength or gender variations. This also does not account for calories burned while not cycling due to increased overall health or metabolic rate.




Who polices this contest?
You do for yourself! We depend on the integrity of participants to honor the spirit of the contest, and abide by the letter of the laws, such as they are. Students should not police other students.

Is the system encrypted?
No. Because there is no secure personal information or financial information involved in the challenge, data sent to and from the website is not encrypted.

How will Cascade use my email address?
We will use your email address to keep you informed about the challenge, to send you updates, and to announce the beginning of next year's challenge. We will not sell your email address.

Why are you asking for my address and phone number?
We may use your address or phone number to contact you regarding awards and prizes, inform you of transportation plans that affect your neighborhood or to share other opportunites to get involved with Cascade. Address and phone number are optional fields. However, we do require that all participants provide a home and school zip code, which may be used to map where folks are biking to help us identify infrastructure priorities.




Web browsers
The Bike to School Challenge is designed to work on all modern browsers: Internet Explorer v.6, v.7 and v.8; Firefox; Google Chrome; Safari v.2 and v.3; and Camino, both Mac and PC. If you're getting strange results, and you have javascript turned on (see below), you may want to upgrade the version of your browser.

Is javascript required?
Javascript is required. The site will probably work without it, but your experience will be dramatically improved if you turn it on.




If these resources don't help you, contact the BTS web team:

If, after contacting us, you resolve your problem independently, you can email us again and say "problem solved" to retract your request.