Programs in Motion
Communities across the United States have been planning and hosting Bike to Work events for years. Read about these programs below, or submit your own story to have your program featured on our site.
During the week-long Bike to Work celebration, commuters in Chicago leave the car at home and bike to work. In order to participate, anyone can become a team leader by signing up their workplace organization – commercial business, non-profit, educational, government - at the Active Trans Bike to Work Week webpage, then track the number of bike commuters within his/her organization. Every team leader receives a packet of materials for promoting the event including, literature and flyers; maps, and a T-Shirt. Team leaders also have access to free, on-site 'how to commute by bike' presentations. Those companies with the highest percentage of bike commute trips at the end of the week are recognized by Active Trans at an awards luncheon, a few weeks after the event.
The Back-to-Work Bike-to-Work Challenge encouraged Tucson residents kick off the New Year by biking to work. The event utilized a bike breakfast, user-generated trip logs, and giveaways to generate interest and increase publicity. By providing a free breakfast, the event served both as a form of encouragement for bicycle commuters, and a way to draw attention to the services offered at Spoke6 and There & Back Bicycles. Creative Slice, a group specializing in Web design, created an online Web tool to facilitate easy trip recording and trip tracking. Even those commuters who didn’t participate in the Spoke6 breakfast were encouraged to log their trips using the online tool. Those commuters who logged trips were eligible to win prizes from There & Back Bicycles and Spoke 6 following the conclusion of the January events. The bike breakfast, as one of the first events held at Spoke6, drew media attention from local news (http://www.kvoa.com/news/2-wheelin-2-work-in-january/) and also was attended by Matt Zoll, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinator for Pima County, which provided an extra boost to the event.
This event was RBF's first ever Bike to Work Day and was intended to encouraged employees to bike to work as a healthy and fun alternative to their typical commute. The idea was introduced by members of RBF's Wellness Works Committee, which helped to publicize the event and obtain corporate support for Bike to Work Day throughout the firm's largest office in Irvine. Flyers promoting the event were posted in all office kitchens, throughout hallways, and near restrooms. Emails were also sent out company-wide, which is the standard way to promote events at RBF. A week prior to Bike to Work Day, a "Lunch & Learn" presentation was held to help explain proper bike safety, maintenance, clothing, suitable bicycles, local trails and bike paths, as well as helpful bicycle commuting trips. Bike facilities, such as the locations of bike racks, showers and changing rooms throughout the Irvine office were also discussed.
Intercity Transit’s Bicycle Commuter Contest (BCC) encourages, rewards, and recognizes Thurston County residents of all ages and abilities who try bicycling as a means of transportation. The goal of the event is to encourage residents to develop new and lasting commute habits that result in healthy transportation choices. According to BCC organizers, the contest enhances the quality of life in Thurston County by reducing traffic congestion and fossil fuel use, which improves air and water quality and promotes healthy lifestyles. BCC participants have prevented the emission of hundreds of thousands of pounds of CO2 and other pollutants over the years of the contest. The contest also encourages people to shop locally and increases parking supply, stimulating the “Green Economy” and engaging local businesses and organizations through the sponsorship program.
The BCC gathers information from cyclists about bicycling infrastructure and road repair needs, which is relayed to the appropriate jurisdiction. By providing this feedback, participants are able to actively influence infrastructure development as well as maintenance efforts in the community. The BCC also hosts a number of other events each year, including an Earth Day event, the Wrencher’s Ball, and an Award Ceremony. The Wrencher’s Ball is a large event where bike shops provide mechanics to perform free safety checks on participants’ bicycles. The Ball provides bike commuters with a helpful service and also promotes local bike shops. After the conclusion of the contest, usually in June, there is an Award Ceremony to celebrate achievements, award prizes, and hold random prize drawings.
The Bike to Work Challenge is a friendly competition between employers in the Columbus, Ohio area. To win the Challenge, a company/organization must achieve the highest bicycle mode share within its bracket over an 11 day period. Mode share is defined as the percentage of total trips using one mode of transportation, though the Challenge counts a trip toward the mode share even if it was not completed by bike in its entirety. For example, if every employee were to bike (at least part of the way) for every work commute over 11 days, they would achieve a mode share of 100%.
Bike to Work events in Victoria include a commuter challenge, "celebration" commuter stations, and a Bike to Work launch event. The Bike to Work Challenge, similar to events in other cities, challenges employees of companies and organizations of all sizes to bike to work in a friendly competition. The Challenge is based on Web-based tool (http://www.biketowork.ca/node/5944), which allows riders to register and log trips, and has three divisions: small organizations (1–10 individuals), medium organizations (11–100 individuals), and large organizations (101 or more individuals).
With a 15 percent bicycle mode split on average for participating workplaces, the Bike to Work Challenge uses avid bike commuters as recruiters and team leaders within their organizations. By allowing bike commuters to play an important organizational role and incorporating a positive team dynamic into the Challenge, team leaders are able motivate other employees into biking to work, achieving a very high bicycle mode share for commuting to work in Victoria. The Bike to Work BC group also provides generous incentives to participate, such as a raffle to win an all-expenses paid vacation.
In order to market the event, Bike to Work BC begins their recruitment process a number of months before Bike to Work Week. At the opening launch of the Bike to Work season, Bike to Work BC unveils their new T-Shirt and distributes them to bike commuters that have formed teams at their places of work. The launch is usually well-publicized, generates a substantial amount of media attention, and draws a large number of people. In addition, they also facilitate an ongoing skills course, which helps introduce biking to potential new cyclists and prepares them for their bike commute. Over the past courses, roughly 2000 people have participated in total. This type of entry-level event helps novice riders feel comfortable biking to work, dispels preconceived notions about the difficulty and danger of biking for many new riders, and equips riders with the skills necessary for riding in traffic.
The Réseau vélo-boulot, in an effort to instill the habit of bicycling to work over a number of months, opted to use a longer term approach to promote bicycling in the community. Many programs, such as Bike to Work week, generate support for bicycling in the short term, but do not create a culture of bicycling in a community or facilitate bicycling as an everyday activity. The 20 week program invites participants to make a pledge to use their bicycle at least one day each week.
Does your community host successful Bike to Work events? Submit your story to be featured on our site.