It was Bike-to-Work Day here in the San Francisco Bay Area and thousands of cyclists hit the streets. It felt like Amsterdam, where bikes outnumbered cars, in some instances by as much as 3 to 1.
Every year, companies, local governments, transportation authorities and bike coalitions around the country support Bike-to-Work Day to encourage more bike commuting.
For employers who seriously want to reduce the number of employees who drive to work, this day is a real boon. It provides the support needed to reach the tipping point between “I’d like to ride my bike someday” and actually doing it.
But a single day does not a habit make.
It’s important to take the elements of Bike-to-Work Day and extend them throughout the summer or even throughout the year:
- Organize group rides to and from work, led by experienced bike commuters
- Create and share the routes ahead of time
- Offer classes on safe cycling
- Participate in the National Bike Challenge
- Award prizes regularly, such as every month
- Encourage newbies with something to help them get started
- Coordinate a loaner bike program
- Survey staff on what they need to bike commute more often
A well-known Silicon Valley tech company doubled their numbers this year and are continuing their support all summer to create a more regular habit of bike commuting.
By running a Bike Challenge all Summer with prizes and recognition; holding bi-monthly classes; providing employee bike repair, a DIY bike kitchen, bike fits and a loaner bike fleet, they’ll help those who participated in Bike-to-Work Day continue to ride.
May be your company did a couple of things to support Bike-to-Work Day or didn’t participate at all. Either way, you can take a lesson from those who did and move forward beyond the day.
If you’re committed to reducing the number of employees who drive to work, now is the time – right after Bike-to-Work Day – to use the momentum for immediate conversion and long-term success.
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Bike to Work Day is a perfect opportunity to engage your employees and often the gateway into bike commuting. Read our guide to get you started and prepare for the big day.
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With Ariadne Scott, Bicycle Program Coordinator at Stanford Parking & Transportation Services.