Campus rides into biking challenge

Contributing Writer Chris Lomelin

The Biking Broncho Challenge reached 25 participants last week at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Wellness Center by registering online to reach a fitness goal of 100 miles.

UCO’s Wellness Center has updated its registry of students, faculty and staff for those who wish to participate in this month’s Biking Bronchos Challenge, showing as many 25 people signed up to partake.

The challengers will need to accumulate a minimum of 100 miles of biking to complete the challenge within a span of five weeks. The Wellness Center is giving away a free t-shirt for those who complete the challenge and log their results online before the challenge ends on Nov. 5. 

The challenge is being spearheaded by the Wellness Center’s Intramural Recreational Specialist Brandon Bermea, who joined UCO in August and runs sporting events not associated with the university’s other athletics teams.

“A lot of students here say that all sports are cancelled and think intramural are under that as well, but we’re actually not a part of anything like that”, Bermea said. “This challenge is something brand new that we’ve never done before here.” 

People who enter can cycle on their own at home if they have a stationary bike, at the Wellness Center or out on their own bikes.

“All you would need to do is take a screenshot of your miles and then send them to me via email or through the online website,” Bermea said.

He referred to the site that participants first go to register for the challenge and how they keep track of their miles, “I will also personally keep track of their score, all they need is to make sure whatever app they use calculates their distance in miles,” Bermea said.

After initially registering using their campus credentials, participants will receive follow-up emails from Bermea to let them know of deadlines.

“I’ll send the first message in the beginning to let them know how many miles they’ll need, then another message prior to the end of the challenges, and then one final message on the last day of the challenge to let them know to submit their final mile count,” Bermea said.

The Biking Bronchos challenge, which began Oct. 5, has since seen a rise in registrations in recent days. “Monday, I started out with 16 people, and as of today I have 25 now,” Bermea said.

When asked about previous challenges, Bermea noted that they had the Marathon Challenge, where participants would need to accumulate a total of 26.2 miles throughout the month of September, where they had over 60 people sign up. 

For those that participated in the Marathon Challenge, like Wellness Center Assistant Director for Business Operations Cheryl Duke, receiving the free t-shirt at the end wasn’t the only reason she signed up.

“We all feel so isolated right now,” Duke said, “and this felt like a way to get reconnected with others.”

Another participant in the Marathon Challenge, Assistant Director for Adaptive Sports Leigha Pemberton, also stressed the importance of the challenge.

“Everything is spaced apart appropriately so you still feel like you’re getting to be with your friends and be social, but you’re doing it in a safe way, and I think we all need that right now – to be connected safely.”

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