Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Join Me for Bublr Winter Bike Olympics

Bike sharing system issues February riding challenge. It's easier than you think.

By - Jan 25th, 2018 09:55 am
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Participating in Bublr's 2017 Winter Bike Challenge.

Participating in Bublr’s 2017 Winter Bike Challenge.

While the United States competes in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, Milwaukeeans will compete in their own cold weather competition. No, Bonnie Blair and Dan Jansen won’t be busting out their speed skates, but Milwaukeans will be challenged to ride Bublr Bikes throughout the month of February as part of the Bublr Winter Bike Olympics.

The non-profit bike-sharing system is bringing back their Winter Bike Challenge for the second year. Last year, yours truly was one of a handful of riders that took a Bublr ride every day in February, earning a series of prizes including a $100 gift card to the Wheel & Sprocket Bike Expo and a thinner waistline. (For a while.)

Bublr has reconfigured the challenge this year to award prizes in three categories, instead of for days of consecutive riding. The top three riders in each category will receive an annual Bublr pass, a Bicycle Benefits pass, a Nutcase bicycle helmet and a medal of achievement. The rider that takes the most rides will receive a soon-to-be-announced “very special bonus prize.”

The categories are as follows:

  1. Ride the most one-way trips lasting longer than five minutes
  2. Check out a bike from the most stations
  3. Take the most trips between Milwaukee, Shorewood, West Allis and Wauwatosa (you must ride to and from at least three different municipalities)

For the purposes of the competition, rides are defined as a trip that last five minutes or longer.

Participants must register online by 11:59 p.m. on January 31st. They’re also required to be an active Bublr bikes pass holder. Unlimited 60-minute rides are $15 a month or $80 annually.

Not sure how one can possibly ride a bike in winter? Turns out it’s surprisingly easy, especially if Bublr is handling the bike maintenance and storage. Read our guide, “10 Tips for Winter Biking“, for more ideas on how to make cold weather riding as nice (almost) as a summer breeze.

The challenge (and last February’s unusually nice weather) had a positive impact on the system’s monthly ridership. In January 2017, 1,323 rides were taken, with February boasting 3,867 rides, while riders mustered only 1,865 rides in March. Ridership hit an all-time high in July 2017 with 20,053 rides.

The non-profit bike-sharing system, which is built around station-to-station trips, has been building out a network from a combination of philanthropic support and public grants. Recent expansions into Shorewood, Wauwatosa and West Allis have been supported by federal grants. The system, which currently includes over 60 stations, has plans to add 26 stations in Milwaukee in 2018.

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