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Shasta County places second in National Bike Challenge

Shasta County placed second in the nation in National Bike Challenge.

The Northstate county finished second to the Bay Area and topped much larger areas around the nation, including Austin, Tallahassee and Portland.

Shasta County also placed first in the country for population similar in size.

The challenge is a total of miles biked during the month of May, National Bike Month.

Shasta County has participated in the challenge for years, but this year the number of cyclists doubled. In 2017 there were around 400 participants, this year over a thousand.

"This year it completely blew up we've doubled our numbers and participants more than that and mileage, too," said Shasta Bike Challenge organizer Cameron Lievense. "We pretty much broke every record we could possibly have."

Together, Shasta County cyclists logged over 171,000 miles.

"The only people that were able to pull ahead of us was another California team which was the Bay Area which everyone knows the Bay has a very walk able area and transportation on bike is more common in a place like that," Lievense said.

The increase in participation was even enough to help local bike shops. The owner of Chain Gang in Redding, Angie James, said they saw an increase in sales in May during the challenge.

"They come in they ask about the trails available and they were handing out maps everyday and we were asking people to join our team if they weren't already on a team," James said.

Friday, Shasta County residents celebrated at the Chain Gang as awards were handed out. Lievense said it's a step in the right direction.

"Everyone focuses on the negative verses the positive but when you kinda look more you realize there's a lot of positivity in this community and especially with the bike challenge it's very positive and there's good vibes and everyone picks it up and puts in a helping hand," said Lievense.

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