We’ve shared a passion for bikes ever since we met 13 years ago. Here’s one from the early days (get a load of Kurt’s helmet!).
One of Apple’s original bike fleet, a silver Public bike. Apple was our first client (well, technically second client; our first project was for the King County Public Library while we worked out our contract with Apple).
Ten years ago, we were introduced to the Transportation Manager at Apple who asked if we could launch and operate their new fleet of 250 campus bikes. We said “Uhhhh, sure!” Then we got busy collaborating with Mike’s Bikes who had the staff we didn’t have at the time.
Apple put out a request for proposal (RFP) and we responded. One of the RFP questions was: “What’s your annual revenue?” We said “Zero. Wouldn’t you like to be our first dollar?” Apparently, they did, and awarded us the contract.
We began working with Facebook when they were still in their small Palo Alto offices and getting ready to make the big move to their new Menlo Park headquarters.
They showed us the plans for the new “MPK” campus (a small fraction of what it is today) and pointed to a space marked “bike shop” with a question mark, at the heart of the new courtyard. They asked if we wanted to design and run an employee-facing bike shop. We said “YES!” From there, The Hub, a free full-service bike repair shop and events space took shape. In this photo, Arleen teaches a bike skills class in The Hub.
From the beginning, we’ve gathered best practices and lessons learned from companies and universities doing great bike work. Early on, we realized the importance of peer-to-peer information sharing (of the good, the bad and the ugly), so we designed The Bike Forum, an annual event where forward-thinking organizations gather and learn.
Speakers have included Clif Bar, Facebook, Gates Foundation, Genentech, Google, Intuit, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nike, Sprint, Target, Stanford University, Stanford Research Park and others. From there, we created the Online Bike Forum and Bike Forum Conversations.
In 2013, we started supporting LinkedIn’s Bay Area bike program. Our main focus was on their campus bike fleet, upgrading to new GPS-enabled bikes. The bike team keeps such good tabs on these GPS-equipped bikes, that they were able to track a stolen bike as it made its way to Portland, Oregon, and then worked with local police to retrieve it!
We have always believed in the power of bike fleets (municipal bikeshare, campus bikes, loaner and intern bikes) to enable more folks to ride on a regular basis. Some of our favorite projects involved feasibility studies and recommendation reports on corporate bikeshare systems. We designed and launched branded bikes for a number of clients, including Mozilla Firefox (a partnership with Public Bikes), Kaiser Permanente, Williams Sonoma Group, Facebook and LinkedIn to help employees get around during the day.
We have also followed closely GPS and locking technology, implementing a variety of systems to track data and reduce theft. In the municipal realm, we were particularly impressed by Social Bicycles (aka SoBi, then Jump, and now owned by Lime), so when an opportunity came up to manage a system in Silicon Valley, we decided to do it. Several years ago we launched and managed the city of San Mateo’s shared bike fleet. To make it more fun for users and draw attention to the fleet, we created a unicorn bike and encouraged riders to upload their unicorn sightings to social media.
With the need to add a bike shop to Facebook’s growing campus, and with no real estate available, we designed and built a semi-mobile bike shop, and thus “Gili” was born! Gili is a trailer that can be towed and parked at different spots on Facebook’s large campus, allowing employees who work far from one of the campus bike shops a convenient place to drop their bikes off for service.
Our ingenuity didn’t stop with Gili or unicorn bikes. In 2017, Stanford Research Park asked us to create a pop-up bicycle info center that could be packed up and ridden around SRP’s 700-acre business park to various employer locations. So Robert designed and built the “Mobile Concierge” (shown top left) using an electric cargo bike with a hitch that pulls a cart slash table with storage. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Stanford also commissioned “MCs,” and now we have a little family.
As Facebook grew, so did we, and in 2018, we expanded to Washington state to support the Facebook Seattle bike program. We designed and launched a flagship bike shop; supported a small satellite shop; and provided programming to their many bike commuters.
The “Westlake Wheelhouse,” provides employee bike services similar to The Hub. Here Alex is teaching a wheel truing class, an advanced bike skills class, to Facebook employees.
For the past several years, we’ve been hosting an annual employee picnic. Last year we introduced a little friendly competition. Here Daniel takes flight during the bunny hop contest.
Over the past decade, we’ve grown from a two-person operation to 75 staff supporting dozens of companies. Here are some of our employees after completing their League Certified Instructor training in Sunnyvale, CA.
And here is our “most recent staff photo,” celebrating 10 years, socially-distanced-style and working from home.