Bike parades, parties, and free pastries? All companies should be celebrating like these ultra-bike-friendly businesses
This was post was originally published by Bicycling
By Caitlin Giddings
Saving money and improving your health are great reasons to ride, but sometimes the biggest motivation to choose the bike rack over the parking lot boils down to a supportive workplace. After all, without showers, storage space, and a bicycle-friendly culture, it’s easy to make excuses not to ride. Fortunately, more and more employers are working hard to roll out the welcome wagon for two-wheeled commuters. And onBike to Work Day, these “Bike-Friendly Businesses”—as recognized by the League of American Bicyclists’ ranking system—step up their game and turn the bike lane into a party.
Here are five companies that really bring the fun to Bike to Work Day (held this year on May 20!):
Odell Brewing, Denver and Fort Collins, CO, 107 employees, Silver BFB
In addition to bike parking and a bike maintenance station, this Colorado brewery hosts a “Bike to Work” bash in the summer and winter that fills the taproom. They also have a Zagster rent-a-bike station in the parking lot and this year will host the end party for Ride the Rockies. “We try to incentivize alternate modes of transportation when possible for the environmental, social, and health benefits,” Eli Kolodny at Odell says. “Plus it’s more fun than sitting in traffic.”
Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, AK, 2,000 employees, Gold BFB
Last year more than 200 employees at Southcentral Foundation, which provides health and wellness programming for the Native community, participated in Bike to Work Day—and this year they’re expecting even more. In the past, the foundation has offered a toddler bike parade at the employee family daycare center. This year they’re teaming up with the Alaska Native Medical Center to host a Blueberry Breakfast station for cyclists on their way to work. In keeping with SCF’s vision of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness in the Native community, they’re also hosting an annual “blessing of the bikes.” “We crush Bike to Work day and week!” says Kim Marcucci at Southcentral Foundation.
Starbucks (headquarters), Seattle, WA, 3,500 employees, Silver BFB
For years, more than 300 Puget Sound locations provided free coffee to cyclists on Bike to Work Day. Now the silver-ranked bike-friendly business hosts an official station in front of its support center with coffee and pastries for anyone who rides by, as well as bike swag and energy bars. Last year more than 300 cyclists stopped at the station, says Starbucks transportation programs manager, Brent Stavig.
National Geographic Society, Washington, DC 1,600 employees, Silver BFB
The National Geographic Society has been designated a bike-friendly business since 2009, when they added bike safety training classes and put in more bike racks. In 2012, they became an official pit stop for Bike to Work Day in DC, offering food and fun events for area bike commuters. The Society also hosts a BTWD breakfast for employees every year with raffle prizes—all just a small component of the NGS’s GoGreen initiative to support sustainability throughout the company.
Walmart Stores, Inc. (headquarters), Bentonville, AR, 23,000 employees, Gold BFB
The corporate giant has been celebrating Bike to Work Day—and even more impressively, Bike to Work Month—since 2007. On Bike to Work Day, Walmart hosts guided rides from all over the Bentonville community to the home office, so that beginning cyclists feel better about making their first commute. Over the rest of the month, they offer bike safety classes and bring in bike mechanics to help maintain employee bikes. They also have an 120-bike bike share system—just one of the efforts the company has made to achieve gold BFB status, which was awarded in 2015. “With our innovative Bike Share program and over 8 miles of trails surrounding our home office campus, our associates can improve their health and well-being while at the same time helping to reduce our carbon footprint and supporting our company’s commitment to sustainability,” David Hoke, a health and well-being director at Walmart, said.
To find out how your company can be designated as a BFB, check out the League of American Bicyclists’ criteria.