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
- How The Challenge Works
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!
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.
- Winter Commuting Resources & Videos
For future bus riders:
- Watch this 2-minute video about how to use TheRide.
- Use VR to interact with all the features of TheRide’s buses or get an inside look by watching the recorded video.
- Tips on how to ride the bus in winter weather are available on TheRide's YouTube channel under the Winter Riding Tips playlist.
- U-M community: Did you know you ride TheRide for free with your MCard? Simply have your MCard in your hand when you board the bus and the driver will tell you what to do next. Find additional details here.
- Find additional bus resources at www.getdowntown.org/commuter-resources/bus
For sidewalk users:
- Find information about Ann Arbor’s sidewalk snow and ice removal responsibilities.
- Learn about the A2 Snow Match Program that pairs volunteers with residents in need of snow/ice-management assistance.
- Find additional walking resources at www.getdowntown.org/commuter-resources/walk
For people who want to drive less:
- Park for free and take the bus using one of TheRide’s designated or shared parking locations.
- Share the responsibility of driving into Washtenaw County during winter with other employed adults by joining the VanRide program. More details about VanRide can be found here and during the online information session on January 18.
- Check if there is anyone seeking a carpool or vanpool partner from your town at CommuterConnectMI.org. The results might surprise you!
- U-M community, check out the resources provided by U-M Logistics, Transportation & Parking
For aspiring and current bicyclists:
- Common Cycle, welcomes the public to seek help from volunteers and use tools to maintain and repair bicycles at their dedicated workspace (416 W. Huron St., Suite 11, Ann Arbor, MI 48103) on Sundays from 11am to 3pm.
- Review how to load your bike on TheRide here.
- See a map of bike lanes and trails in Washtenaw County (as of 2022). Contact the getDowntown Program to pick up a hard copy of the map!
- Learn about free and paid bike parking locations in downtown Ann Arbor.
- Find additional biking resources at www.getdowntown.org/commuter-resources/bike
- Conquer the Cold Calendar
Join us and invite others to the events below. You can find additional details about these events soon on our Events page!
- Conquer the Cold 2024 Kickoff – January 9, 11:30am | Click here for more details.
- Online Info Session for VanRide – January 18, 11am | Click here for more details.
- Winter Riding & Visibility Workshop (Partner Event) - January 22, 6:30pm | Click here for more details.
- Conquer the Cold 2024 Mixer – February 1, 5-7pm | Click here for details.
- Park & Ride Meet Up – February 7, 6pm | Click here for details.
- Buddy Walk – February 13, 8-9am | Click here for details.
- Get Retro with us on Social Media
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.
- TEAM CAPTAIN RESOURCES
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!
- 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.
- 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!
- Claim your Conquer the Cold beanie after getting 5 or more people on your team logging trips on commuteandwin.org by the end of the challenge. We'll reach out to you about picking up your beanie if you qualify.
- For questions, ideas, and troubleshooting help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, February 13 to Tuesday, February 13
We’re celebrating Palentine’s Day by commuting together! Meet the getDowntown Program at the Pioneer High School Park & Ride lot (entrance located off Main Street, south of Stadium) to walk or take the bus downtown with the group. This a great opportunity for people who currently park their cars downtown to try walking and using the bus in a supportive environment.
Tuesday, January 10 to Friday, February 10