In 2012, Jefferson Lab’s Director of Accelerator Operations, Arne Freyberger, began the Fall Cycling Commuter Challenge (FCCC) as an informal way to encourage members of the lab community to bike to work.
According to Freyberger, the goal of the unofficial activity is to raise awareness about alternative ways of commuting to work, as well as the benefits of commuting by bicycle: mental and physical health, and the financial and environmental benefits. The challenge also interjects a bit of fun into intense autumn work schedules.
Since 2012, FCCC/ACCC participants have commuted at total of 20,000 miles: the equivalent of 800 gallons of gasoline, 7 metric tons of CO2 and 275 pounds of human weight.
Participation started with just a few people and has increased over the years as word of the activity spread, and interest in cycling has grown.
The 2017 challenge will start on Friday, Sept. 22, the first day of autumn and run through the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21. New participants are encouraged to sign up no later than Friday. However, late registration is allowed. “We've had people start mid-challenge before. They don't stand much chance of winning, but it can be fun and motivating to post one's rides,” says Michael Merz, spreadsheet manager for the challenge.
The challenge is to commute to work via bicycle the most days. Participants honorably track their mileage on a shared Google Spreadsheet.
Prizes are given for Consistency (most days ridden) and Total Mileage. Based on the information tracked, the loosely knit group calculates the amount of gasoline not burned on their commutes, and the calories they burned.
The program is now dubbed the Autumn Cycling Commuter Challenge (ACCC) because Merz felt using the words “Fall” and “Cycling” together was a bad combination!
Freyberger shares this link to a recent article published in The Washington Post, titled: “Cycling to work means better health and a longer life.” Here’s how to get started. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cycling-to-work-means-better-health-and-a-longer-life-heres-how-to-get-started/2017/09/08/b48d13f2-72ed-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.33b61bc6e034
The folks at Global Cycling Network offer advice on bicycle choice in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNzTeEzciec
For more information, visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qz_zFMT2n-I3PNrrdFlTcZW7YotDkEnj52R2naD1sSE/edit
This is a voluntary activity; and isn’t authorized or sanctioned by JSA/Jefferson Lab. Participants undertake this activity at their own risk; and should consult their physician regarding their individual health and their desire to pursue this activity.