Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) pedaled its way to the top of the pack, according to the League of American Bicyclists, which awarded EMU first-place in the small university category of the 2012 National Bike Challenge, May 1-August 31, 2012.
EMU won with a final total of 26,866 points, placing 94th out of more than 7,000 groups. EMU was 14th out of all universities, leading the pack among higher-education institutions with 10,000 or fewer students. Participants were given one point per mile and 20 points per day of biking.
“The success of the EMU teams was fantastic, but even more enjoyable was making new connections with team members in different areas of campus,” said Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, EMU sustainability coordinator. “It’s surprising to find so many others who are excited about bicycling. It spurred some healthy competition, too.”
Benjamin Bailey led EMU with a team-high 2,442 miles. EMU had 19 faculty and staff riders log 9,415 miles during the challenge.
Overall, the National Bike Challenge saw more than 30,000 people ride 12 million miles. Riders participated either as an individual or on a team of up to 10 persons.
The bike-challenge award was the second earned in 2012 for EMU’s bicycling efforts. In October, the League of American Bicyclists conferred a bronze award on EMU, making EMU the third university in Virginia, following Virginia Commonwealth (silver award) and George Mason (also a bronze), to be recognized by the League as a “bicycle friendly university.” Nationally, EMU is one of the two smallest universities – and one of just a handful of private ones – to receive the bicycle-friendly designation from the League of American Bicyclists.