National Bike Challenge Update: Riding around the World

You just rode around the World together…

We have seven weeks left to go in the National Bike Challenge, and the West is running away with it! But we’ll get to that in a moment.

Back in May, the National Bike Challenge began, and riders have since been logging miles as they ride for fitness, recreation, and transportation. Over 90,000 riders have taken up the challenge nationwide, and we’ve had a nice representation here in Montana as well, especially from our two Wellness Teams, the EAST & WEST.

Collectively, our Wellness teams just completed a ride equivalent to the circumference of the Earth! 25,000 miles. Wow. You just rode around the world together—nice work!

That also adds up to 1.4 million calories burned, and several tons of CO2 not in the atmosphere. Not too shabby.

Here’s some of the standouts:

The WEST team has 84 riders participating, and those riders have accounted for over 17,000 miles—tops in the state. The West is also ranked 135th nationally, out of over 1600 teams.

The EAST team has 59 riders participating, and those riders have accounted for over 8000 miles, number 2 in the state and 200th nationally.

The West is getting a big boost from Montana’s top two riders, Karel Stroethoff from Missoula and Dan Dobyns from Helena, who have been battling back and forth all summer for the top spot. Karel has logged 5716 miles, and Dan 5472! It’s going to be close!

On the EAST team, Paul Foster from Billings is the leader with 875 miles logged.

Montana Moves would like to say “Nice Work!” to all our riders who have made this summer’s NBC the biggest yet for our both our Wellness Teams and for the state of Montana. There’s lots of great weather left—keep riding!

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One Heck of a Commute!

Last week, Dan Dobyns, Workforce Navigator from Helena College, visited with us about his commute to work. Dan led all Montana Riders last year as part of the National Bike Challenge, logging 7711 miles last summer. Click on the video link below to hear Dan’s story!

Interview with Dan Dobyns from Montana University Sys. Wellness on Vimeo.

The National Bike Challenge allows you to log your bike miles all summer long, and you don’t have to ride 40 miles a day to participate. Participants receive 20 points each day they ride, plus a point per mile, so it’s all about riding consistently!

To join, go to, and join one of our MUS Wellness teams (EAST or WEST), then start tracking your miles. It’s a tight race thus far, as our teams are 1-2 in Montana!


National Bike Challenge Starts Friday!

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Who’s ready to ride!? Spring came early this year, giving us a chance to air up the tires, knock the dust off the bike, and go for a ride.

For the third consecutive year, MUS Wellness invites you to participate in the National Bike Challenge from May 1st-September 30th. It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s great for your health.

How the West was Won.

Last year, MUS Wellness split our campuses, pitting East vs. West. The West Team eeked out a victory with only days left in the summer. Congrats to the West, our Montana State Champs! The West finished with 19,920 miles logged! The East put in 15,513 for a second place Team finish.

Dan Dobyns from Helena College was the top rider in Montana with 7710 miles, mostly by virtue of a daily commute to work. Way to go Dan!

Ride with us this year! Simply go to, register an account, and start logging miles. You can log mileage manually, or through a supported app. If you rode last year, your account is still set up, and your team affiliation should be the same. If you’re a new rider, join one of our Wellness Teams after you sign-up:

  • MUS Wellness West: Kalispell, Missoula, Butte, Helena, Dillon
  • MUS Wellness East: Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Havre, Miles City, Glendive

Recruit for your Teams! Each day you ride, you and your team receive 20 points plus 1 point per mile, so riding often is more important than riding far. The daily commutes will really add up!


National Bike Challenge: 1 Week to Go!

For the last five months, riders across Montana and the nation have been participating in the National Bike Challenge. MUS Wellness sponsored two teams this year in an East vs. West showdown. With 9 days left in the competition, The West Team has clawed their way into the top Team spot in the state!



Just a bit over 400 points separate our two teams after 144 days of logging miles! If you’re one of our 52 riders, be sure to log those final few miles as the state title and bragging rights are up for grabs.

We’ll have final results and a full report next week.

Happy Riding!

July Winners & NBC Update

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It’s time to share results from our July COTM drawings, and give our National Bike Challenge update!

July COTM winners:

  • Judy Fredenberg from Missoula was our Montana Meals prize winner for her participation in the “Drink and Be Merry” Challenge.  Judy will receive an AquaZinger Water Bottle to continue those good water-drinking habits.
  • Jori Bullemer from Kalispell and Nic Richardson from Bozeman were our Montana Moves winners for their participation in the “Trailblazer” Challenge. Jori received a signed copy of a Glacier National Park Hiking book, hot off the presses and written by MSU Bozeman’s own Jean Arthur. Nic received a copy of “100 Great Day Hikes Around Bozeman & Greater Yellowstone”, by Mark D. Johnson.

National Bike Challenge:

  • Our two Wellness teams continue to set the pace for Montana, with impressive numbers!
  • The WEST team has eclipsed the EAST team in mileage, but it’s close!
    • WEST 11,057 miles logged
    • EAST 10,957 miles logged
    • Exactly a century ride difference after 3 months of riding. Amazing!!!!
  • Combined, that’s 22,000 miles, the equivalent of riding twice around the perimeter of the continental United States! It’s also equal to the height of a geostationary satellite in space orbit!
  • However, the EAST team leads the Challenge with 30,000 points, due to more frequent rides. (20 points per ride + 1 point per mile).
  • The EAST seems to be “sportier”, categorizing 60% of rides as “Sport”, while the WEST is the efficient bunch, catagorizing 64% of rides as “Transport”.
  • Combined, by riding, our two teams have:
    • Burned 1.2 million calories, equal to 7000 pounds of huckleberries. Or 1470 Growlers of Big Sky Moose Drool Beer. Yum.
    • Saved over $12,000 in gas money.
    • Prevented 10 tons of CO2 from entering our Big Skies!

Awesome job riders!!!

June Winners and NBC Update!

Here’s our latest Challenge of the Month winners, and a progress report on our two Rockin’ National Bike Challenge Teams.

Let’s start with our June and 2nd Quarter Prize Winners:

  • Kathleen Tarkalson from Missoula wins the Montana Meals June Challenge for her MyPlate submission.  Kathleen will receive Herb scissors and an Herb garden starter pack.
  • Kristin Harbuck from Bozeman wins the Montana Moves June Challenge for her “Down and Dirty” submission.  Kristin will receive a 21oz. Hydroflask.
  • Jessica Torgerson-Lundin from Billings is our Montana Meals 2nd Quarter Prize winner.  Jessica will be receiving a Dole Yonanas Healthy Dessert Maker.
  • Leah Tietz from Helena is our Montana Moves 2nd Quarter Prize winner. Leah will be receiving a CamelPack LOBO Hydration system.

Congrats to these four fit ladies, and thanks for everyone who has participated in our Challenges! On to the National Bike Challenge:

Our two Wellness Teams are currently 1-2 in the state!  Excellent job riders!

Team Wellness WEST picked up some riders and momentum this month! With 3 months to go, they could still make a run for Montana’s Top Team!

  • 21 Riders. 5800 miles logged. 61% of miles have been logged as Transport.  Excellent Job!

Team Wellness EAST is currently setting the pace with:

  • 27 Riders. 6800 miles logged. Currently Ranked #1 in Montana and 129th nationally out of nearly 1200 teams!

Collectively, our two Wellness Teams have combined for some pretty impressive numbers:

  • Total mileage logged equals a non-stop flight from Madrid, Spain to Aukland, New Zealand.  Wow! (That would be one long flight.)
  • Our 48 riders have collectively burned nearly 700,000 calories; the equivalent 3684 BallPark Beef Franks (just in time for the 4th!)
  • Our riders have saved over 7-grand in transportation costs, and prevented nearly 6 tons of CO2 from going into the Big Sky!
12k flight
12,000 miles is a long way.

Finally, we’d like to highlight some outstanding individual efforts:

  • Amanda Milliard from Billings is leading the EAST team and is 6th in the state with 1498 miles logged!
  • Patty McIntire from St. Ignatius and our WEST team, is on her way across the country, and has logged 1634 miles, good for 5th in the State.
  • Dan Dobyns from Helena is leading the WEST team, and the State, with 1937 miles logged.  Dan is ranked 233rd Nationally, out of nearly 42,000 riders.  Dan also hasn’t missed a day of riding during the entire challenge! Amazing!

Keep up the nice work riders!  And remember, if you’d like to be a part of the National Bike Challenge, there are still 3 months left to log your miles for yourself and your team!  Just go to, register, join MUS Wellness EAST or MUS Wellness WEST, and start logging miles!

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Montana Moves Quarterly Winner and MUS Wellness WEST team member Leah Tietz competing in the 24 hours of Rapelje Mountain Bike Relay race in June.
Kristin Harbuck winner
Neal with Montana Moves June Challenge winner Kristin Harbuck as she shows off her new Hydroflask. Congrats to all our participants and winners!
Gallatin float
And finally, the “Don’t Try this at Home” Award for our “Down and Dirty” photo contest goes to Ethan Stokes, who, along with four other brave souls, challenged the Gallatin River in early June, and lived to tell the tale. Wow! By the way, nice helmet Ethan.


May Bike Challenge Updates

With only a few more days of May, here’s a report on our challenges. Don’t forget to get those BINGO cards in by Monday, June 2nd, to be eligible for our Monthly Prize Drawing. You can email them or fax to 994-2391. Here’s how the office Bike BINGO sheets are looking.

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Cristin has two BINGOs to my one. Don’t think I haven’t been hearing about it. But it’s not over yet, and it’s not over for you either! Even if you never downloaded a sheet, you could still get in on the action by retroactively filling out what you’ve done this month on your bike!

In the National Bike Challenge, which goes through September 30th, our two Wellness Teams are off to great starts! Here’s how we’re looking:

MUS Wellness West 

  • 19 riders
  • #3 Team in Montana (On the NBC website it shows the West in 5th, but two of the teams listed only have one rider from Montana, so we’re not sure why they’re showing up.)
  • 1335 miles logged (That’s a ride from Kalispell to L.A.)!
  • 50% of those miles are commuting or for transport.
  • This has prevented 1200 lbs. of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and saved $750 worth of gas!
  • The team has burned 72,000 calories, or 379 Krispy Kreme Donuts!

MUS Wellness East

  • 25 riders
  • Top team in Montana (130th nationally)!
  • 2392 miles logged (That’s a ride from Bozeman to Boston)!
  • 53% of those miles are commuting or for transport.
  • This has prevented over a ton of CO2 prevented from going into the atmosphere and saved $1350 worth of gas!
  • The team has burned 130,000 calories (That’s over two months worth of eating for the average adult!)

Here are a couple of standout individual performances:

  • From the WEST, Patty McIntire, a retiree from St. Ignatius, is currently on a cross-country ride.  Patty has logged 620 miles, which ranks her 5th in the state and 747th nationally (This is out of nearly 35,000 riders)!
  • From the EAST, Taylor Lonsdale from Bozeman has logged 424 miles, which ranks him 7th in the state and 1325th nationally.

Great work Patty, Taylor, and all of our riders!  Again, this challenge is just getting started, and it’s never too late to join! Just go to to create an account, join one of our Wellness teams (MUS Wellness West or MUS Wellness East), and start logging your miles.



Challenge of the Month: May!

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Montana Meals May Challenge: Fruitopia & Veggilicious!

MyPlate dietary guidelines recommend that half of our meal plates are filled with vegetables and/or fruit. With springtime here, it’s easier to make that guideline a reality as delicious, in-season, fresh produce is becoming more available.

The May Challenge of the Month is to eat 3 servings of fruit or 3 servings of vegetables each day. If it’s simple for you to get your recommended daily amount of fruit, but vegetables are a little tougher to include in your diet, challenge yourself and track your vegetable intake (or vice versa). Or, if you really want to go above and beyond this month, track both fruits and vegetables. You’ll earn two entries into the May prize drawing; plus your body will thank you for providing it with the fruits and vegetables it needs!

Download the Fruit Log and/or Veggie Log and get started tracking. Must meet 3 servings/day for 25 out of 31 days to be eligible for the drawing. And sorry, but juice won’t count for this challenge.

Email or fax in your logs by Monday, June 2nd to be eligible for our end of month drawing! Fax is 994-2391.

Montana Moves May Challenge: National Bike Month/Bike Bingo and National Bike Challenge

May is National Bike Month, and there are several ways to get involved!

First, play Bike Bingo from MUS Wellness—a great way to have fun while riding this month. Email, tweet, or fax your Bingo sheet back to us by Monday, June 2nd to be eligible for our end of month drawing.  Email to, @montanamoves (Twitter), or 994-2391 (fax).

Second, Bike to Work Week is May 12-16.  Most communities have a plethora of events for commuters, most of which involve coffee. Free coffee every day!  It’s the best week of the year!

Bike Week or Bike Month not enough? Looking for a bigger challenge? Go to and sign up to log your miles all summer log. Join one of our Wellness Teams and let the competition begin!  Once you register, search for your appropriate team, either MUS Wellness East or MUS Wellness West.  Here are how the teams break down:

  • MUS Wellness East: Billings, Bozeman, Glendive, Great Falls, Havre, Miles City (and any satellites associated with these locations).
  •  MUS Wellness West:  Butte, Dillon, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula (and any satellites associated with these locations).

Recruit for your side! Get your coworkers and family members involved!

Game On!
Game On!


You must be a Montana University System insured plan member  to participate.

National Bike Challenge Time!

National Bike Month is almost upon us (snow or no snow)! Last year, around 40 brave riders from around the state joined the MUS Wellness Team for the National Bike Challenge, a 5-month challenge to track your riding.  Competing against other organizations and businesses around Montana, MUS Wellness won the State Team Competition while logging more than 17,000 miles!  This year, we’re so confident that we can recruit even more riders to the Challenge, that we thought we’d make it interesting and have an East vs. West Montana Challenge! Interested? Following you’ll find information on 1) How to register, 2) What Team you’ll be riding for, and 3) How the Challenge is scored.

1.  Registration

Simply click the banner below to go to the National Bike Challenge Home site. There you will create a Login (free). Once you are logged in, you can join a Team. Go to the “My Account” Tab, or use a Search Icon to Search for your team, MUS Wellness East or MUS Wellness West. The Challenge begins May 1st and ends September 30th.  Each time you ride, you log miles using the website, or a choice of 3 Apps you can download to a smartphone (MapMyRide, Moves, or Endomondo).  Scoring is described below, but frequency is weighted more heavily than mileage, so don’t think that you have to ride some epic distances to participate.


2.  Teams

MUS Wellness has two Teams this year, which will compete against each other as well as other teams from across Montana.  Our Teams are MUS Wellness East and MUS Wellness West. Search for the appropriate team name using the Search Icon on the website. The EAST will comprise of campuses affiliated with the following locations: Billings, Bozeman, Glendive, Great Falls, Havre, and Miles City.  The WEST will comprise of campuses affiliated with the following locations: Butte, Dillon, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Based on employee counts on these campuses, it’s a pretty even split. We’ll see which side has the better recruiters!

3.  Scoring

Each day you log a ride, you’ll receive 20 points for logging plus 1 point per mile. So, for example, if you commute 2 miles to and from work one day, you receive 24 points.  Prizes are giving each month and at the end of the Challenge through drawings and awards for top riders.  For the complete Challenge Rules, click here.

We hope you ride with MUS Wellness this Summer. Stay tuned for more about National Bike Month as part of our “Montana Bikes” May Challenge of the Month! Happy Riding!

2014 NCB East vs West
Who will be crowned Montana Bike Challenge Champs?