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BikeLife Tucson 3 Measurement was easy on the final Thurs- day of each month between April and No- vember 2015 representatives from each participating city would count people on bikes at a preselected location from 430 pm to 530 pm. The eight-month compe- tition was meant to be fun and humorous so each month had a designated theme such as cargo bikes and trailers racks and baskets with bonus points for flowers in them people riding in skirts and dresses people wearing Lycra kids on bikes people riding in office attire people in costumes and finally riders with beards. As soon as the staff from Living Streets Alliance LSA heard the call to cities to participate in this friendly contest they knew they had to get Tucson involved. The competition attracted cities from different parts of the country including At- lanta Boston Chicago Denver Pittsburgh West Hollywood and Seattle. Despite also having Portland in the mix which many consider to be the bicycling Mecca of America the bike counts turned out to be a fierce competition between Memphis and Tucson. Memphis won several of the counts by a photo finish over Tucson. How- ever folks at LSA were not discouraged and they continued to deploy all kinds of whimsical tactics such as asking people to wear multiple layers of skirts handing out Halloween masks and adorning any- one who fell short on facial hair with card- board beards. Running up the score was highly encour- aged by PeopleforBikes because after all everyday biking is all about community. Dubbed the Whimsical Bike Counts in Tucson LSA promoted the events via press releases and social media and invited all Tucsonans including bearded ladies men in tutus people in 80s Lycra outfits to get creative and let their imaginations run wild In the end the Old Pueblo-style enthu- siasm paid off. After eight months of com- peting with cities from across the nation Tucson pedaled away with the winning title of the best U.S. city for everyday bik- ing. Thanks to everyone who kept coming month after month even at the height of the summer heat in their kilts with home-made crochet beards on their kids faces and wearing suits only to be packed away in a garment bag after getting count- ed. These bike counts confirmed that Tuc- son is lucky to have a bicycling community that is passionate fun-loving diverse and of course full of whimsy H he plan was simple a competition hosted by PeopleForBikes the national bicycling advocacy organization to find out the best U.S. city for everyday biking. The goal discover which U.S. city has the most cyclists who ride casually mostly for transportation as part of their daily lives and wearing everyday clothes. T Living Streets Alliance is a local non-profit advocacy organization whose mission is to promote healthy communities by empow- ering people to transform our streets into vibrant places for walking bicycling socializing and play. A monthly updated log of the entire contest with links to PeopleForBikes blog posts and photos from each bike count is available on LSAs website By EVREN SONMEZ Living Streets Alliance