Gardener's Supply employee, Brian Youngberg, with his road bike.

Brian rides a steel-frame Salsa Fargo road bike with 27 speeds, “which includes some nice low gears for hill climbing.”

It’s a resolution many people make, but few follow through: “I should commute by bicycle more often.” To get people motivated, it seems a challenge is required — the National Bike Challenge. Employees at Gardener’s Supply took part in this year’s event, a free program with the goal of getting 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles. The 2012 challenge ended Aug. 31 with a total of 12 million total miles by a community of more than 30,000 riders.

One of those riders was Brian Youngberg, a member of the marketing department, who logged more than 2,500 miles on his 32-mile commute to and from work and riding for excercise and pleasure. “The Bike Challenge was to encourage cycling of all types. I commuted once or twice a week, plus I went for a ride six out of seven days all through the summer,” Brian says.

Brian is one of several employees here who took up the challenge, promoted by our Green Team. Gardener’s Supply finished in the top 10 of Vermont workplaces (9,313 miles logged). What’s more, Vermont led all states (per capita) in the challenge.

“My commute is actually two very different experiences,” Brian says. National Bike Challenge“The morning ride in starts at 6 a.m., so there’s very little traffic, lots of wildlife and cool temps. The afternoon ride is highlighted by more traffic and noise. It also provides time to review issues from work, solve some problems, and then decompress/de-stress before arriving home. Nothing like huffing up some Vermont hills to get one’s heart racing.”

Next year, we hope you’ll join us in the challenge. Learn more at the National Bike Challenge.

David Grist, Gardener’s Supply