September is Team Challenge Month and the Global ElliptiGO Riders Club is buzzing with amazing rides and comradery during this annual event. This month, we’re excited to honor an ElliptiGO Enthusiast Extraordinaire for their incredible performance during the 2017 Team Challenge, as well as for all he does for the ElliptiGO community.
We’re excited to share that the September 2018 Rider of the Month is Jim Cremer. Jim is a dedicated ElliptiGO rider and serves as the Technology Coordinator for the Global ElliptiGO Riders Club. We chatted with Jim all about Team Challenge Month and how the ElliptiGO community makes being an owner of one of our bikes so special.
Can you share how long you’ve been participating in the Team Challenge and what you enjoy most about it?
I participated in the 2014 and 2015 Global Team Challenges that were part of ElliptiGO’s popular Get On the Map program. Members of the Global ElliptiGO Riders Club (GERC), which was formed in late 2016, expressed interest in expanding on those fun events. This led to the creation of the 2017 Get Out and GO (GOGO) challenge series. The September Team Challenge was certainly one of the most exciting and fun events of GOGO 2017; five teams competed for leaderboard glory through the very last days of September.
For the most part, the Get On the Map and GOGO programs provide a series of *individual* challenges with the goal of providing fun motivation to get out and ride! I enjoy the Team Challenge because it adds exciting competitive and social reward components.
Tell us a little bit more about your 2017 Team Challenge journey and results!
It all seems like a blur now. What do I remember? Teams of 20 were formed with the five GERC officers serving as team captains. The first fun little task was choosing a team name, which we did via shared Google doc on which people could add or endorse name suggestions. The choice of “AmiGOs” seemed perfect and a good omen.
I wasn’t sure how to try to “captain” a team of widely scattered people (Australia, UK, US), many of whom I didn’t know. I also worried that the month-long challenge might not feel fun; teams might separate too quickly, lowering motivation for riders.
Hearing that some teams were sharing “pledges”, I set a September goal for myself of riding 1000 miles and climbing 30,000 feet, both more than I’d ever done before in a month. It seemed super ambitious and I had doubts I’d manage it.
But then something kind of magical happened. In addition to email connecting all team members, we had an AmiGOs team Facebook page, and people started making super positive, enthusiastic, motivating posts (including a memorable “Let’s GO AmiGOs” video posted very late one night by a team member riding their GO on an indoor trainer in PJs!). Between emails, little Facebook posts, and super encouraging Strava ride comments, the team powered through more miles and elevation than we’d imagined, eventually narrowly taking first place in the distance and climbing categories. My total ended at 1,600 miles and 90,000 feet, far more than I’d have thought possible. All credit goes to the AmiGO team and the ElliptiGO community for helping create a super motivating competitive and fun event.
How have you seen the ElliptiGO community grow since you began riding?
I bought my first ElliptiGO in 2013, and for a year rode mainly by myself here in Iowa and was not connected to the ElliptiGO community. I slowly started connecting with the GO community in late 2014, attending events like the World Championships/Rally Weekend and Winter
Classic, doing some extreme distance organized rides with other crazy ElliptiGO ultra-distance riders, and doing adventure rides with GO friends (e.g. “hey, how about we ride over the mountains and through the desert from Solana Beach to the Winter Classic in Phoenix?
Awesome!”). It took me until 2015 to discover the awesome ElliptiGO community Facebook group; as with the rest of the GO community, it’s always full of inspiring and positive things – things that make keep me wanting to take my GO on adventures all over the world. I love
that I now have GO friends all over the world, some of whom I’ve never met in person, but a growing number who I actually ride with at events or on adventures.
One of the main goals of the Global ElliptiGO Riders Club, now almost two years old, is to foster growth of the already-awesome ElliptiGO community, by nurturing existing and new location-based events (e.g World Championships/Rally Weekend, Winter and Spring Classics, Five
Boros Bike Tour) and organizing distributed/world-wide events like the GOGO challenge program. The Club is still young and growing and is always interested in input and new ideas for the community.
This month’s challenge has already begun, but can people still get involved? If so, how?
Yes. The Team Challenge is part of the GOGO program, which is free to GERC members.
Many thanks, Jim, for sharing your experience with us and we’re so glad to call you our Rider of the Month in celebration of the Team Challenge!