Ride in the Rain wrap-up Dec 2019
Fall's rainy days not a deterrent for dedicated cyclists

Although there were only five days this November in which it actually rained, Ride in the Rain participants seized the month-long challenge in great cycles as always.

In fact, during the month of November, about 400 staff, students, and faculty kept pedaling to campus and around the city despite the chilly weather. Participants logged a total of 55,307 miles and saved 26,143 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. For comparison, the same amount of carbon dioxide is produced consuming 1,021 gallons of gasoline and charging 1,156,772 smartphones.

UW Transportation Services rewarded challenge participants throughout the month with weekly prize drawings, a Coffee Commute Station event, a Light Up the Night event and bike classes. At the Coffee Commute Station, over 100 bikers and pedestrians stopped by to pick up lights and reflective bands to help them be seen during fall and winter’s dark days and nights. 

Allison Chapman, a challenge participant, attended a Fix-a-Flat bike class during Ride in the Rain and was able to put her new knowledge to work.

“I got a flat tire and was able to change it and get home. Even though the process wasn’t completely smooth, I never would have had the confidence to try it without the class,” she said.

Our lucky drawing winners won amazing swag like bike locks and backpacks, donated by our generous sponsors. 

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Valerie S winner

Lucky prize winner Valerie S. with a $50 Gregg’s Cycle Gift Card


While the prizes and events are a great incentive to keep pedaling, Ride in the Rain is a time honored tradition for many.

“I like participating in Ride in the Rain because I can challenge myself to keep riding, even on a cold morning,” says Renne Barton, grants manager in the Department of Pediatrics, and a four-time Ride in the Rain participant. “I also enjoy knowing that all the Ride in the Rain participants are coming together and making a difference.”

For Chris Pennington, safety analyst for UW Facilities and a five-time challenge participant, the comradery and competition within her team and with other UW teams are why she enjoys participating. 

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Chris Pennington and team

Chris Pennington and her Ride in the Rain teammates take a short break from their commute.

“As many who know me would agree, I love biking, and I promote it as much as I can, encouraging anyone with the slightest bit of interest to give it a try!”

Comradery and community were also great motivators for 12-time Ride in the Rain rider, Robert Brown, director of compliance in the School of Dentistry. 

“It’s fun to see the miles and points add up over the course of the month, and I really enjoy looking at the names of the other bike teams,” Brown says.

He continues, “There are some very clever people out there. My favorite thing about the challenge is that it is a chance to be a part of the larger biking community and to make some of my core values including tenacity, hard work, being outdoors contribute to the greater good.” 

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Brown's photos

Longtime UW bike commuter Robert Brown says taking a few minutes to photograph his commute makes it much more interesting and enjoyable.

He rides eleven miles home most of the year and enjoys the chance to get outdoors and says emphatically, “It’s a real antidote to stress!”

Being outdoors in the fall also grants him the great opportunity to take beautiful pictures around Seattle and throughout campus.

Six-time challenge participant Rachelle McCarty says she uses both Ride in the Rain and Bike Everywhere Month in May to gain confidence in a new skill and to add more bike rides in her routine.

“I value these opportunities to push myself, and I appreciate the UW for promoting these events and providing additional support.”


UW Transportation Services would like to thank everyone, including participants, supporters, partners, and sponsors for making 2019’s Ride in the Rain a fantastic experience. Hope to see you in May 2020 for Bike Everywhere Month!