Bikes Make Life Better Turns 10!

Bikes Make Life Better is celebrating our 10 year anniversary in 2020! Throughout the year, we’re commemorating this milestone with looks back, looks forward, top 10 lists, a virtual celebration, swag, and more. So slap on your party hat and keep tabs on our website for details!

To celebrate a decade of bikes making life better, please join us for a virtual screening of MOTHERLOAD — a truly inspirational documentary exploring how biking connects us to our environment, our communities, and ourselves. After the screening, we’re hosting a virtual toast and Q&A with Karen Wiener and Brett Thurber, seminal figures in the electric bike movement and founders of one of our favorite shops, The New Wheel. You can also catch Karen in MOTHERLOAD. This is happening on Wednesday afternoon, October 21; look for a formal invite coming soon. We’re looking forward to you celebrating with us, and thanks for 10 wonderful years!

Top 10 lists from our team

Top 10 Reasons to Ride

Here at Bikes Make Life Better, we’re still finding ways to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. Now more than ever is the perfect time to remember why we all chose to bike in the first place. See our top 10 reasons to ride relayed by our superstar staff.

Top 10 Reasons to be Excited About the Future of Bikes for Transportation

Before the pandemic hit, we asked our staff: “What excites you most about the future of bikes for transportation?” Here are the top 10 reasons they cited, and we’re astounded by how true these ring now, buttressed by a global cycling boom.

Origin Story – Amy tells us about Bikes Make Life Better’s beginning:

It all started ten years ago when Kurt and I were running marketing and design consulting firms in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan. We were both cyclists and loved all things bike. We moved to San Francisco and decided it would be fun to work together on something we were passionate about.

A shared passion (get a load of Kurt’s helmet!)

Kurt is great at spotting nascent trends. He thought bikes as transportation was going to be something way before bikeshare took off in the U.S. The timing seemed perfect to try out a new venture. From our past work lives, we knew a lot about how businesses make decisions and thought we could help employers get more people on bikes!

We came up with the name Bikes Make Life Better because, well duh, they just do. A friend built us a website as part of a work trade and we were officially open for business! But we kept our day jobs just in case our idea flopped. 

We were introduced to the Transportation Manager at Apple who asked if we could launch and operate their new fleet of 340 campus bikes. We said “Uhhhh, sure!” They 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 were thrilled to have Apple as our first client (not bad!). They referred us to Facebook. Facebook referred us to LinkedIn. Then came Williams-Sonoma Group, Mozilla Firefox, Salesforce, Stanford…. And so it goes.

I never thought we’d have employees, much less so many. At the start of 2020, we are 85 strong. Mylene Mogendorff was our first! It started as a chat on our weekly Marin Headlands ride. 

Mylene: Can I volunteer for your company?

Amy: Sure. What would you like to do?

Mylene: I have no idea. What do you need to have done?

Amy: I have no idea!

And so it began! We’ve been making life better with bikes ever since!

Bikes Make Life Better is dedicated to helping employees at large organizations use bikes for healthy sustainable transportation. They’ve helped design bike programs, facilities, and fleets for Airbnb, Facebook, Kaiser Permanente, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Salesforce, Stanford, Walmart and others.