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Friendly competition showcases the ease of biking to work

Winners announced today from last month’s Bike Commuter Challenge highlight how easy and popular bike commuting has become in Chicagoland. Active Transportation Alliance has been hosting the Bike Commuter Challenge for 17 years.

This year’s competition saw major upsets in the business, non-profit and public agency categories.

Rising to the occasion were the likes of the Chicago Department of Transportation–which remained champion by holding off a hard charging Village of Oak Lawn for the 500+ category–and the growing Metropolitan Planning Council, which cleaned up in the 25-99 category in 2010, and this year took the place of the Chicago Dept. of Environment as the 100-499 tier champion.

The business category saw two major upsets: Groupon and Whole Foods knocked off perennial favorites Orbitz and The Burke Group, respectively.

And the high-profile feud between WBEZ and the Old Town School of Folk Music (as featured on WBEZ’s own Eight Forty-eight program) was left in the dust by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, who took their 25-99 category triumph in 2010 to the next level. The complete list of winners is below.

A near-record number of businesses competed for the Bike Commuter Challenge title. Employees from 424 companies took to two wheels during Bike to Work Week in June.

“The new faces in the winner’s column demonstrate that bike commuting is becoming a new normal,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “We saw more interest in bike safety this year, based on participant feedback, and we saw lots of creative tactics used to get people on bikes. Chicagoland’s workforce is getting healthier and happier by biking to work.”

Offices tracked participation based on the number of employees who took at least one partial or complete trip to work by bike during the week of June 11-17, 2011. Teams competed in categories based on their staff size and type of business.

The annual Bike Commuter Challenge competition is part of a weeklong biking celebration hosted by the municipalities around the region and Active Transportation Alliance, Chicagoland’s voice for better biking, walking and transit.

The competition is free and open to any Chicagoland business, school, organization or company. Other events during the week included Bike Away from Work parties and a Bike to Work Day Rally. Active Trans also hosted Bike Pit Stations to greet bike commuters on popular bike routes and at suburban Metra stations.

And the Bike Commuter Challenge winners areÂ…

Public Agency

500+ employees: City of Chicago Department of Transportation
100-499: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
25-99: Peace Corps
5-24: Village of Buffalo Grove, City of Des Plaines (tie)

Business

500+: Groupon
100-499: Whole Foods Market Chicago
25-99: Studio Gang Architects
5-24: Pagit Systems, Gilasi Recycled Surfaces, Calor Design Group, Ltd., BEHLES+BEHLES, Mightybytes, Erehwon Mountain Outfitter, Pepper Group (tie)

Non-profit

500+: The Field Museum
100-499: Center for Neighborhood Technology
25-99: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
5-24: American Lung Association in Greater Chicago, West Town Bikes/Ciclo Urbano (tie)
<5: Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice

K-12 School

100-499: Ridgewood High School
25-99: Coonley Elementary School

College/University

500+: Moraine Valley Community College (Main Campus)
100-499: Northwestern University Library
25-99: Robert Morris University (Sustainability Council)
5-24: University of Illinois at Chicago (Office of Sustainability)

Bicycle-related Business

25-99: REI Lincoln Park
5-24: Spin Doctor Cyclewerks

Other

500+: Argonne National Laboratory
100-499: National Association of REALTORS
25-99: Obama for America

Bike to Work Week is sponsored by Goose Island Brewery, Fisher Nuts, The Burke Group, Caribou Coffee, Clif 2Mile Challenge, County of DuPage, SRAM, Village Cycle Center and ING Direct.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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