Get your game face on #GHCC

Ah, May. It's just around the corner, and that means one thing here at the Cascade office: the start of Bike Month and the Group Health Commute Challenge. We loooove the Commute Challenge at our office. Not just because it's our own event, but also because it stokes the embers of competition, which burn hot beneath the surface of many of my colleagues, myself included.

We've had some fun over the years. There was the men vs. the women year. There was the Secret Match-Up year. There was the "draft a volunteer in the middle of the night to ride for my team because we're losing" year. There was the "OK, you can run to work, but you only get half the credit" year. And there was the "Read the fine print, lazy man, you have to commute five round-trips, so no, your miles don't count" year.

Good times!

Being a team captain is super fun, especially in a workplace that embraces the contest. If you're toying with the idea of captaining a team, I say "Go for it!" You'll be pleasantly amazed by how much people will rally and ride for bagels, brownies, team shirts and accolades at team meetings. And taunts. Taunts work, too. (Note: if you taunt the other team too aggressively, it will backfire and you will lose.)

This year, Teagan, Tessa and Sander are taking the helm of the three Cascade teams, and they're off to a roaring start. They've concluded the closed-door draft session, announced teams, and laid down a few rules:

It's been brought to our attention that we should cover a few ground rules before sending the teams off and biking.  Please read closely.

  1. Despite popular belief, dogs are actually not people and unfortunately not Cascade staff -- bringing a dog in your bike basket, although amusing, will not count for double miles.  Same goes for cats, stuffed animals etc.
  2. Mileage can only be received when you are actually riding the bike. Trips around Lake Washington with your bike latched to your car, unfortunately, will not count.
  3. Although we welcome multiple personalities in most situations, please choose your dominant personality to report miles for.  For example, if one day Tessa is from Greenwood and the next she claims she's from Snoqualmie, she’ll have to settle on her Greenwood commute for inputting miles.
  4. Sabotage is actually not okay.  For example, Sander cannot slash Tessa’s tires before she jumps, eagerly, on her bike to head home for the day.  Sander, among other things, would be disqualified, and might lose a friend in the process.

I have a feeling May 2011 is going to be one for the record books.