BikePGH!

Raise It!

This topic contains 35 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Drewbacca 10 mos, 3 weeks.

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Swalfoort

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Oct 4 2013 at 6:13pm #

The Rust Belt Trophy that is…….

Official ceremony later in the month, but the news is that Pittsburgh outmiled Cleveland in the National Bike Challenge.

If I read the news release accurately, Pittsburgh came in third out of all the cities?

That’s pretty impressive!

Congrats to all those who participated!


Drewbacca

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Oct 4 2013 at 7:36pm #

There’s city and then there is metropolitan area… no one actually lives in CLE, they are all in Lake Wood.

Lakewood, OH 2,538.19 p.
Pittsburgh, PA 2,068.18 p.

Not sure what communities count/ don’t count in the challenge. Not sure of the miles… it’s not cut and dry.

Personally, if we do this challenge again next year… the respective cities need to count by month and not the challenge-period. The only reason CLE even came close to catching PGH (and possibly beating PGH?) is because of backlogging days and miles. It’s too hard to keep track for the sake of a challenge with a cup on the line with all of that retroactive crediting, once a month is over, it should be too late to add miles/points to that month. Those in charge also need to decide at the onset what communities will be counted and which won’t as well as whether or not we are battling for points or miles.

No matter how it was settled this year, the loser isn’t going to accept a loss because the rules were not set in stone from day one best I can tell???

At least BikePGH is claiming we are the winner, and that’s good enough for me… :)


cburch

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Oct 4 2013 at 11:32pm #

one could almost make the argument that the rules were left intentionally vague for this year in order to generate controversy and therefore a more intense rivalry next year (and thus waaaayyyyyyy more miles logged in both cities)

but that would be cynical, and genius.


AWallRider

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Oct 5 2013 at 8:15am #

Next year shouldn’t be points or miles… just elevation gain.


edmonds59

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Oct 5 2013 at 8:35am #

Lakewood is 7+- miles from the center of Cleveland. I live 9.5 miles from the center of Pgh. If we get too persnickety about how miles/points are counted, some of us will be cut out of the count.
It’s an informal game. Don’t overthinky it.
Cle stepped it up massively from last year. Win/win.
Also, just checked, Regent Square is 7.5 mi from the center of downtown. So, caution if we want to start getting all “county”.


stefb

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Oct 5 2013 at 10:24am #

That picture of the count is creeping me out


Drewbacca

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Oct 5 2013 at 10:46am #

edmonds59 wrote:So, caution if we want to start getting all “county”.

Well, in fairness… the only reason I joined the challenge was because we ran into CLE on the GAP; amusingly, they are the ones that got me to register.

How miles are counted is really gray. I finished #24 in the challenge period for Pgh. I used an Edgewood zipcode. The closest zipcode I could actually truly claim is Forest Hills where my brother lives. Most of my miles were actually logged in either suburban Chicago or somewhere between Altoona-Johnstown in addition to a large number on the GAP/C&O. Grand total, I probably had less than 200 miles in Pgh itself.

So yeah, get too picky and you just lost a big mileage getter for Pgh… I guess, ultimately it is on all of those living in Lakewood to use a CLE zipcode next year (if they do, we will have a real battle going forward). I just hope that they have these things ironed out ahead of time so as to not have contention at the end… but all in all, it’s about getting those miles, since again I’ll mention that the only reason I joined the challenge in the first place is because Shelli in CLE talked me into it.

My gaining miles for PGH while wearing a CLE spokecard is almost as ironic as Shelli earning miles for CLE and getting a free beer in PGH. Yeah, in the end it’s a win-win either way.


Pierce

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Oct 5 2013 at 2:56pm #

Ride your bike, the points don’t matter


Ahlir

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Oct 5 2013 at 4:06pm #

Ride your bike, the points don’t matter
Well, maybe. But what about my beers?


Drewbacca

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Oct 5 2013 at 4:47pm #

Pierce wrote:Ride your bike, the points don’t matter

The points matter (to me), I made two great friends(frienemies) that I may not have if not for the challenge…. now I’ve got peeps to bike with when I’m in Cleveland. :D


Swalfoort

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Oct 5 2013 at 5:05pm #

I am with Drew. The points do count. I am less concerned about the “honor” of winning or losing, but the points encourage me to ride. Many of my miles were not IN Pittsburgh, or even Allegheny County, but tallied in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Delaware. Doesn’t matter where I ride, I CHOSE to assign any and all points to the collective Pittsburgh pool.

So, let Cleveland solve their zip code issue as they will. We don’t have to follow suit. If we happen to lose the Rust Cup trophy next year, we will blame it on their “annexation” of Lakewood, as any good politician would do.

As for Cleveland miles vs. Lakewood miles…… there were a LOT of crappy days in Pittsburgh this summer. Days when the weather in Cleveland looked glorious. That weather pattern could switch next year.

But, if we are looking at the “rules” why does the challenge end on October 1st? Clevelanders find it too hard to ride into October? (Just kidding, about that, but it’s a serious question…..there’s lots of good riding still to be done this year….)


StuInMcCandless

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Oct 6 2013 at 4:15am #

I just find it interesting that I came up #18 in Pittsburgh in April, during the warm-up period, then stayed a reliable 120 to 140 all through the challenge period, and am now back to #17 for October so far. All of it routine commuting and errands and the occasional Flock or Undies ride, and really doing nothing different in terms of where or how I ride. If anything, I did a bit more riding in April because of a personal challenge (29 days out of 30 for the month).

The challenge is cool, but I simply like having the logging mechanism as a central repository.


edmonds59

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Oct 6 2013 at 7:05am #

I was logged into the system under my McKees Rocks (Robinson) zip and my points counted for Pgh, so somehow the system worked equitably. I’m not sure what the concern is.
I must say, I find that making the points the deciding factor and not miles is an excellent way to judge it. As someone who grew up in northern Ohio and now rides here, W. PA miles are much harder than Ohio miles because of the terrain. In terms of difficulty, an Ohio century is about equal to a metric around here. That’s my unscientific seat of the shorts measure.


stefb

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Oct 6 2013 at 11:03am #

I was thinking that a flat century feels more like 25 miles of hills.


salty

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Oct 6 2013 at 1:58pm #

I only log on Endomondo during the challenge because their garmin import is stupidly broken. The worst part is they finally devoted some energy to fix it this year but they screwed it up and now they’re back to ignoring the chorus of people telling them they screwed it up.

I'm pretty ambivalent about the challenge. It's cool in some ways but it kind of irritates me that if I decide to walk to work or work from home I'm losing out on an easy 20 points. I know I could go out for a pointless ride, but… it's just stress I don't really need. I stopped tracking my yearly mileage for similar reasons. I like the free beer though.


jonawebb

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Oct 6 2013 at 3:05pm #

You guys know that we can just make up numbers, right? Easy peasy, Pittsburgh wins.
Jk, but adding a level of actual competition with a sort of valuable prize on top of a completely unverifiable reporting system is just asking for trouble. I would expect that by next year, no matter what, we’ll have very little confidence that the winner reflect reality.
I would like it a lot better if it was easier to compare the cities on the website. After it turned out it was by miles instead of points I wasn’t able to figure out who was ahead anymore, except by assuming the dollars saved etc. corresponded to points. Which is stupid, really, because you don’t save anything by riding your bike around the block once a day.


salty

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Oct 6 2013 at 3:13pm #

It was never by miles, I think Cleveland just made that part up once it became to their advantage. You don’t save anything by going out and riding recreationally, no matter how many miles.


Drewbacca

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Oct 6 2013 at 5:15pm #

they only count miles as saving resources when you log the trip as “transport” and not “sport.”

I’m still debating if I want to use the site to keep track now that the challenge is over. Not a lot of point, other than to keep track for possible future reference. I thought about trying to compare a repeated trip and try to improve on my time… but that seems pointless since I have to stop for traffic, lights, etc.


TeamDecaf

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Oct 6 2013 at 5:24pm #

I lived in Lakewood, it is the first township west of the city line, so I considered it to be Cleveland… just like I currently consider Shaler to be Pittsburgh. They’re the same distance from the center of each city to their respective township lines.

Just sayin, ;-)


Ahlir

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Oct 6 2013 at 7:45pm #

I use the Endomondo app on my Android phone and find it really easy to work with: tap to start, tap to end. Everything shows up on their website.
The website provides two things of value:
a) miles traveled: I like to track my miles. I used to do this with my on-board computer, but it’s a pain.
b) routes taken: I do a lot of random-ish biking; being able to review my routes is really useful (noting turns not taken and so on).

I’m sure I could get that and more with something like a Garmin gadget; but I’m mostly in it for the fun, not the power histograms (or whatever). Had I been aware of Endomondo earlier I probably wouldn’t have a computer on my bike.

As for the Challenge, it was fun. My only thought is that they ought to have provided an easy-to-invoke view showing miles instead of points. In any case, the point stuff seems a bit unbalanced: someone can get over 600 points a months just by going around the block each day. (Yes, I know, it’s really all about getting people on the bikes. But still.)


TeamDecaf

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Oct 6 2013 at 8:14pm #

^ Yeah, what you said, Ahlir, “but still…” I agree, miles over points seems better. Maybe they shouldn’t assign so many points to each ride or maybe they should assign extra points for miles ridden over 10, 15, 20 miles, etc.

PS, Ahlir, I await your return to Tag-O-Rama, jump on it, brother, jump on it, now is the perfect time.


salty

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Oct 6 2013 at 8:29pm #

I think there was a 1 mile minimum to get the 20 points this year. although, I think if anything they should do the opposite of what you suggest and make shorter trips worth more. If the aim is to increase commuting, the miles are basically immaterial and it might even be counterproductive to reward people based on mileage. how about 1 point per day – did you take a trip on your bike you might have taken by car or not?


TeamDecaf

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Oct 6 2013 at 8:48pm #

^ point taken, but…

Someone who rides 20 miles raises awareness to drivers 20x more than a person who rides 1 mile. Why not reward them for the amount of time they are on the road?

The impact and awarenes of me being on the road 20x times longer is much more significant, in my opinion, than the rider doing 1 mile.


salty

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Oct 6 2013 at 10:36pm #

So, we have to factor traffic density in as well? :) I don’t think the 335 miles I just rode on the GAP helped much in that regard…

I dunno, the scoring system is arbitrary and I’ve reached the point of just being contrarian. The first year, the bike challenge probably motivated me to ride a little more than I otherwise would have. This year I don’t think it did at all. Both years it made me feel guilty about not riding, which is especially silly in the cases where I was walking instead. But, I’m certainly an outlier, and I think the aim should be to involve as many people as possible, and give them some motivation to participate. So, in that respect, 20 people riding 1 mile is better than 1 person riding 20 miles.

I’m involved in another “commuter challenge” of a sort which has diminishing returns. Every day you ride is worth X/N where N is the number of times you’ve commuted in the time period and X is a constant. So, you might say X = 10 and we’re measuring over a month.

If you rode 2 days that month you’d get 10/1 + 10/2 = 15 points.
If you rode every day that month it would be worth 10 / 1 + 10 / 2 + … + 10/29 + 10/30 = ~40 points.
If you rode half the days you’d get ~33 points.

So, it’s heavily weighted towards participation but still has some benefit for regular commuters.


danny.yabs

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Oct 7 2013 at 12:35pm #

If you were signed up for the challenge, you most likely received this survey from the League of American Bicyclists. But in case you didn’t – or you want to vent again – here is is… http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e895x42bhm2avn08/a024pyhmhz7keb/questions


Drewbacca

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Oct 7 2013 at 1:21pm #

@Dan, the link doesn’t work. I think each link is unique to the participant? Anywho, found mine in the spam folder of my email.


danny.yabs

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Oct 7 2013 at 1:54pm #

Glad you found it.

I’ll share everyone’s feedback with the League. Thanks.


StuInMcCandless

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Oct 7 2013 at 4:40pm #

Hmm, no email, not even in spam folders.


Drewbacca

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Oct 7 2013 at 5:00pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:Hmm, no email, not even in spam folders.

Title: 2013 National Bike Challenge: We Need Your Feedback!
Sent: Oct 3


buffalo buffalo

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Oct 7 2013 at 6:51pm #

iamdan901 wrote:I’ll share everyone’s feedback with the League. Thanks.

It is perhaps telling that the #3 employer nationwide is “Retired”, beaten only by sponsors Trek and Kimberly Clark. Perhaps those of us who work and can’t spend all day racking up points should get our own challenge…


StuInMcCandless

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Oct 8 2013 at 6:11am #

I found the email. Gmail had redirected it to the “Updates” folder.


PghDragonMan

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Oct 8 2013 at 6:14am #

Pierce wrote:Ride your bike, the points don’t matter

Amen!


PghDragonMan

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Oct 8 2013 at 6:24am #

Great challenge and I had a lot of fun.

As a side benefit, purely a personal one, the National Challenge really got me into the mindset to beat my last year’s mileage. So far I’m 30% over last year’s mileage and it is only mid October! Next year should be a tough one to break.

Locally . . . We have Pedal Pittsburgh to help raise bicycle awareness late in the season. How about something to kick off the National Challenge and raise bicycle awareness earlier in the season?

Coincident with this, on the League survey, I suggested starting the Challenge earlier in the year, maybe March, and extending the period to the end of October. Early Spring and Fall are still very bikeable in most of the country. Besides, imagine a Halloween Costume Ride to close out the challenge . . .


Drewbacca

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Oct 8 2013 at 9:04am #

PghDragonMan wrote:

Pierce wrote:Ride your bike, the points don’t matter

Amen!

No, that’s Pierce’s way of saying “screw endomondo, I’m not playing that stupid game.”


PghDragonMan

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Oct 8 2013 at 1:15pm #

Drewbacca wrote:

PghDragonMan wrote:

Pierce wrote:Ride your bike, the points don’t matter

Amen!

No, that’s Pierce’s way of saying “screw endomondo, I’m not playing that stupid game.”

Not knowing Pierce, I just thought it was a “Who cares, as long as you ride” sentiment.

Then again, I rode a lot before I know about Endomondo anyway and I would still ride without them. So I guess it does not matter to me either!


Drewbacca

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Oct 8 2013 at 3:16pm #

He made a comment in an earlier thread about why he refuses to participate in endomondo… his choice, and I respect it (but I won’t hesitate to clarify his meaning). :)

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