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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
May is national bike month and the week of May 11 is national bike to work week. After 2 years of being "that bike guy" I got my employer to officially endorse B2W week.

I'm the only one who commutes - uber-conservative company, 12 acre building, 1500 employees, and get this. . .we are 2 blocks from a primo paved bike path that extends 15 miles east, 17 miles west. . .DOH! Anyway, it's a huge start considering there is zero bike culture in my town.

Purpose of the thread is 2 fold. First, I gotta brag 'cause I'm excited! But #2, if anyone else is in a similar situation I'm offering some resources & ideas that can help you do this at your own workplace. It's not to late to get something going - whether a formal employer endorsed week or just getting a coworker to try it out with you!

First, here are 2 resource links: The League of American Wheelmen site. From this link, click the "B2W Commuter's Booklet" and also "Organizer's Kit." The first is a great hand out or email link that answers a lot of the basic "how to commute" questions. (It's a really nice looking PDF brochure.)The second is a bit over the top but is a guide that can be used to engineer a city-wide or major event. . .but still plenty of good points for a smaller effort like mine. http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/promo.php

Second site is B2Wweek.org. The best feature is the map & events links. You can find other B2W events in your state/area. http://biketoworkweek.org/

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Finally, here's what I've pitched, maybe you could do this where you work:

* I'm setting up 2 "park&ride" locations that are each 3 miles from the office (Anyone at almost any fitness level can ride 3 miles. I'll "sweep" both routes each morning so no one gets left behind due to a flat, etc.)

* I'll do a couple "brown bag lunch meetings" in April (complete w/business like PowerPointe of course!) aimed at the curious. Basic how-to stuff (finding a route, what about clothes, hygiene, etc. etc. and really push our 3 mile park&ride as a safe way to try it out.)

* The only thing the co. has to do is have the Public Affairs dept. write some press releases to the area newspapers. (Part of the pitch was the posibility to create some positive community PR - we're green, care about our emp & community, etc. etc.)

* Final pitch was that this ties right in with multiple other initiatives we have right now to encourage emp. to engage in fitness, think about long-term health, etc. (If you work for a big employer you probably have similar programs.)

Sorry for the length. . .I'm pretty excited. Tried last year & failed. . .never thought I'd see this! WHOO-HOOOO! :thumbsup:
 

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Fantino said:
May is national bike month and the week of May 11 is national bike to work week. After 2 years of being "that bike guy" I got my employer to officially endorse B2W week.

I'm the only one who commutes - uber-conservative company, 12 acre building, 1500 employees, and get this. . .we are 2 blocks from a primo paved bike path that extends 15 miles east, 17 miles west. . .DOH! Anyway, it's a huge start considering there is zero bike culture in my town.

Purpose of the thread is 2 fold. First, I gotta brag 'cause I'm excited! But #2, if anyone else is in a similar situation I'm offering some resources & ideas that can help you do this at your own workplace. It's not to late to get something going - whether a formal employer endorsed week or just getting a coworker to try it out with you!

First, here are 2 resource links: The League of American Wheelmen site. From this link, click the "B2W Commuter's Booklet" and also "Organizer's Kit." The first is a great hand out or email link that answers a lot of the basic "how to commute" questions. (It's a really nice looking PDF brochure.)The second is a bit over the top but is a guide that can be used to engineer a city-wide or major event. . .but still plenty of good points for a smaller effort like mine. http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/promo.php

Second site is B2Wweek.org. The best feature is the map & events links. You can find other B2W events in your state/area. http://biketoworkweek.org/

*********************************************************

Finally, here's what I've pitched, maybe you could do this where you work:

* I'm setting up 2 "park&ride" locations that are each 3 miles from the office (Anyone at almost any fitness level can ride 3 miles. I'll "sweep" both routes each morning so no one gets left behind due to a flat, etc.)

* I'll do a couple "brown bag lunch meetings" in April (complete w/business like PowerPointe of course!) aimed at the curious. Basic how-to stuff (finding a route, what about clothes, hygiene, etc. etc. and really push our 3 mile park&ride as a safe way to try it out.)

* The only thing the co. has to do is have the Public Affairs dept. write some press releases to the area newspapers. (Part of the pitch was the posibility to create some positive community PR - we're green, care about our emp & community, etc. etc.)

* Final pitch was that this ties right in with multiple other initiatives we have right now to encourage emp. to engage in fitness, think about long-term health, etc. (If you work for a big employer you probably have similar programs.)

Sorry for the length. . .I'm pretty excited. Tried last year & failed. . .never thought I'd see this! WHOO-HOOOO! :thumbsup:
This is a great idea. There is one other guy at my workplace who commutes. We have offices nationwide, though- it would be great to set something up, i.e. Webinar or similar.
 

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Fantino:
Great ideas!
I'm Retired, but previously in Navy and 1/2 of our department biked to work, and really looked forward to B2W Week.
Good luck to you!
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nickel II said:
Fantino - where do you live that has a bike path like that and no one else commutes? That is sad.
Yes, it is sad! The path is a rail-2-trail and does get quite a bit of use - mostly walkers & casual cyclists. Being rail-2-trail it goes through greenbelts, woodlands - very park-like & beautiful. Some of it runs along a divided highway but the majority is like riding in a state park. Belisimo!

Live in the midwest (USA) in a small town where bikes are viewed as recreational, not a serious form of transportaion. It's a typical cultural thing. Video store is only a few blocks away but it would never occur to anyone to hop on a bike! It just isn't done - you get in your car & drive to the store. Hopefully I'll win a few converts here in Smalltown Mid-America!
 

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Fantino said:
* I'm setting up 2 "park&ride" locations that are each 3 miles from the office (Anyone at almost any fitness level can ride 3 miles. I'll "sweep" both routes each morning so no one gets left behind due to a flat, etc.)

* I'll do a couple "brown bag lunch meetings" in April (complete w/business like PowerPointe of course!) aimed at the curious. Basic how-to stuff (finding a route, what about clothes, hygiene, etc. etc. and really push our 3 mile park&ride as a safe way to try it out.)
Sounds like you have a great plan. Are you going to take the groups extra early for them to get into work in time, or have you talked to your employer to see if there is any leeway for those days?

I think the lunch meetings will be successful. People will respond well when you are there to talk to them and answer their questions, and the group setting will create a sense of community. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Work starts at 8. I'm going to set the park-n-rides to depart at 7:15. I figure even someone at a low fitness level on a coaster brake can do 3 miles in 30 minutes & still have 15 minutes to change for work. If someone is late it's more likely going to be from a flat or mech issue. I'll let them work that out w/their supervisor. (On a case by case, mgmt will be pretty cool. But they won't want to "give a free pass" in advance.)

On the other hand. . .if someone is organizing or working a charity event, etc. that's considered "work time" away from your desk. Since I'm the event organizer & riding sweep it will be ok for me to be away from my desk. Let's see - early May, I'll be on the clock & riding my bike an extra hour each morning. . .:thumbsup:
 

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LCI #1853
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The League has several resources on-line for these sorts of "brown-bag" seminars or presentations, at http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/ (scroll down to the bottom) and at http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/commuters.php .

There's also a 3-hour Commuting workshop taught by LCIs that covers the basics, plus some on-the-bike training is key skills, to include riding at night/in the dark. Might be a good idea to see if there's one available in your community.

Doing one of these sessions via webinar is a good idea... I'll look into that for the lead-up to BTW month...

Tom
 

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Fantino - does your employer have a shower? With 1500 employees I would think yes, but you never know.

I work at a small business (< 35 employees) and we just moved offices. Our old place did not have a shower and 2 of us rode in "semi-regularly". I was a very dedicated commuter for 7 years before I took this job and it was tough. Even I couldn't stomach more than 1-2 days a week without showering all day after a ride in the AM.

We moved a few months ago after an 18 month searhc for a new location and I had to fight tooth and nail to get a shower installed as part of the 5 year lease negotiation. Worth all the arguing.

Now I'm commuting 80% of the time, and 4 other people are doing it at least 1 day a week. Having a shower really makes a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nope!

we have 1500 employees and no showers/locker rooms! I agree, showers makes it a lot more do-able. I've been pretty dedicated for the past 2 years. (Year round unless snow/ice on the road.) While it's not the best, a washcloth, ziplock, and the bathroom sink does a lot. (Like I said, for 2 years I've been "that bike guy" at work but I don't think anyone's ever called me "the stinky guy!")

"Hygiene" is def. one of the hurdles I'll be addressing in my lunch-n-learns. But hey, with the park-n-rides I'm only asking them to go 3 miles. Riding easy on a Spring morning most won't even need the washcloth trick. The real trick will be to inspire people to try it!

. . .optimism, must exude optimism :D
 

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Fantino, you are...

...The MAN! Your optimism is contagious.

I am inspired by you to follow your lead and get my co-workers to walk or ride to work at least one of the days of our town's BIke/Walk/Wheel Week in May. I also live in the Midwest (southern midwest), and I, too, am the "crazy bike guy" who rides to work. The surprising thing is that I teach at a huge university! Yes, it is truly nuts, by California or East Coast standards (or even by my native Texas standards). You and I have our work cut out for us to shift the "cultural norm" in our little burgs; that is, to get cycle commuting up on the radar.

Everything you listed as activities sounds great. I am going to try adding one more thing -- hosting a "bike-rehab" day at my home the weekend before the festivities, with (my) free labor on bike repairs (I have a bike shop just blocks way to get needed parts).

Like you, we (the wifey and I) will be encouraging our "distance-challenged" collegues to park on the local bike trail, just a few miles out from the campus. We can lead them like lemmings to work (except no cliff dive involved).

Again, you have provided me the spark for getting me to work on my colleagues.

Thanks, Buddy!

Dale
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Dale!

And you have inspired me. A pre-event bike clinic is an awsome idea! I think I might take my stand/tools and set-up at one of the park-n-ride locations. Then after a free lube/adjust send them off for a nice Saturday ride on the bike path.

I wonder if I could get the LBS to also bring a stand & assist? Bike shops around here cater to lower-end hybrids & cruisers. . .still, they might jump at the chance for the positive PR.

Oh yeah, great links from Cyclepath a couple posts back. Quote:
"The League has several resources on-line for these sorts of "brown-bag" seminars or presentations, at"
http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/ (scroll down to the bottom) and at http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/.../commuters.php .

The League of American Bicyclists site rules for info about Bike Month, commuting, & advocacy! Thanks Tom!

Whoo-Hooo! May will be a month to remember!
 

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You've made a lot of good suggestions on your own, here... We're gearing up for our local Bike-to-Work Week here, and there's some good and new ideas here to mix it up a bit from what we've been doing in the past...

I teach the LAB Commuting course on a fairly regular basis, so if you need handouts or some other refences, just holler...

Tom
 
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