Conquer the Cold

Conquer the Cold is an annual promotion that aims to show that it isn’t as difficult to get to work without driving as it may seem in the winter months. Through education, outreach, and different challenges, the campaign aims to help commuters overcome the potential barriers of changing their patterns in colder weather.

Individuals participating in Conquer the Cold can log their trips on the getDowntown challenge website and earn rewards based on their participation. See below for detailed information. 

Conquer the Cold Information

Participating via our challenge website is the best way to win prizes, connect with others, and calculate your impact during the challenge. Follow the instructions below or watch this short tutorial about signing up!

1. Make an account by going to the challenge website at, or download the Commute Central app from the App Store or Play Store.

2. Navigate to the Challenge Dashboard to select "Conquer the Cold 2024". "

3. Create or join a team. Forming teams with co-workers, neighbors, and other members of your community is encouraged. If you aren't participating with a group, you are welcome to join getDowntown’s team: "getDowntown Retro Riders."  Prizes will be awarded to individuals, not teams, but it’s more motivating to complete the challenge with others!

4. Starting January 15th, log your commute and other trips taken by bus, bike, walking, rolling or carpooling to earn points. You earn:

  • 2 points for trips taken by bus, bike, carpool, walking, vanpool, active rolling, roller skate/rollerblade, scooter/e-scooter, jog/run, ski, and skateboard
  • 1 point for telecommuting
  • 0 points for driving alone

5. Earn rewards and digital badges based on your participation. 

6. By February 20, finish logging any trips you took between January 15 and February 15, 2024 that you want to count towards the challenge.



The top individual winners for Conquer the Cold (as determined by number of points earned during the challenge) will win:

  • 1st Place: $250 gift card for Bivouac Ann Arbor
  • 2nd Place: Waterproof Ortleib backpack courtesy of H.E.H. Human Electric Hybrids
  • 3rd Place: Ann Arbor Bicycle Film Festival tickets + downtown restaurant gift card courtesy of Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority

All three top individual winners may have their name & team announced as challenge winners in area publications.

Additionally, participants logging enough trips to earn 5 points can pick up a unique Conquer the Cold mini flashlight. Mini flashlights are available while supplies last, must be picked up, and cannot be mailed. 

For future bus riders:

For sidewalk users:

For people who want to drive less:

For aspiring and current bicyclists:

Join us and invite others to the events below. You can find additional details about these events soon on our Events page!


The getDowntown Program has active accounts on Instagram and Facebook. We use #MyA2Commute too. Tag @getDowntown when documenting your winter travels and participate in the contests below for the chance to win prizes!

  • My first bike/bus ride was… – Share a photo or memory of your first bicycle or transit trip. Who did you ride with? How old were you? You can be “today years old” and take a photo of you trying transit or biking for the first time! Don’t forget to tag @getdowntown for a chance to win a gift card!
  • Throwback Photo – share a photo or memory of getting around Ann Arbor (or your hometown) back in the day by bike, bus, walking, or carpool. Tag @getDowntown for a chance to win a gift card. Don’t forget to shoutout some of your favorite places to visit at the time by bike, bus, walking, and carpool! (For example, “I carpooled with my friends to get fro-yo on State Street when I was a teenager.”)
  • Teen Me Challenge – Can you replicate the fashion choices of your pre-driver’s license self? If you’re bold enough to post a photo and tag @getDowntown with a photo of you then and now with similar attire, you have a chance to win a $50 gift card from Dear Golden!
  • Palentine’s Pictures – bring a buddy on your commute or make a friend en route. Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag @getDowntown for a chance to win a prize.

Winners of social media contests are drawn at random from among the entries that tag @getDowntown program on Instagram or Facebook during the 2024 challenge dates or as specified above. 

The first person to start a new team when joining the challenge is designated as the team captain. Here are some tips for motivating and growing your team!

  1. Pick up free resources and trinkets for your team from the getDowntown Program! Resources include bus schedules, postcards on how to ride the bus, posters on how to bring your bike on TheRide, and more. Simply reach out to us to make arrangements. 
  2. Invite co-workers, family and friends to join you at one of our events or ask them to complete one of the social media activities with you!
  3. Claim your Conquer the Cold beanie after getting 5 or more people on your team logging trips on by the end of the challenge. We'll reach out to you about picking up your beanie if you qualify. 
  4. For questions, ideas, and troubleshooting help, contact

Conquer the Cold is complete for 2024!

The challenge website is open for those who want to track their trips and environmental impact between challenges. Click the button to register or sign in. 

Conquer the Cold 2024

Monday, January 15 to Thursday, February 15

Bravo to the 170 people who braved the Michigan winter to bike, walk, roll, carpool, or take the bus during Conquer the Cold 2024! Here are some of the highlights of the retro edition of the challenge:

Conquer The Cold 2023

Tuesday, January 10 to Friday, February 10

The getDowntown Program is pleased to congratulate all those who walked, rolled, carpooled, and used the bus during the Conquer the Cold challenge. The annual campaign engaged 214 participants who demonstrated that it is possible to get around without driving alone during the winter months.