The wind through your hair, cool air in your lungs, and the buzz as you wind your way through traffic to get into work. Bike to Work Week is coming up and the crew at Fairware is ready to roll.
There is nothing like cycling to work to ensure you start the day bright. You feel alive and attuned to your body, your place and your community. You know how hot or cold it is, which way the wind is blowing and which bakeries are open. It’s a great way to set the start button to your day and the benefits don’t just end there.
4 Reasons to Bike to Work
- Doing your bit to help the environment. You’re obviously burning no fuel as you ride, and so none of the pollutants or carbon dioxide that come with it.
- A much more efficient user of urban space – in the space it takes to accommodate 60 cars, cities can accommodate more than 600 bicycles. That’s less of our urban environment under roads and parking lots, and more space for public space.
- Staying Fit and healthy. A minimum of 150 hours per week of physical activity is recommended for adults, and cycling to work for half an hour each day will take care of that.
- Building thriving communities by making streets safer, quieter and more beautiful. You’re contributing to a local community where people can interact.
All of these benefits and more come from cycling to work, and yet cycling to work is still uncommon enough that it needs to be argued for.
For the most part people don’t ride because they see it as inconvenient or unsafe. According to a study by People for Bikes, most Americans want to bike more but 54 percent said that fear of getting hit by a car or truck holds them back. The same study showed that in the US, 100 million people bike each year, but only 14 million do so twice a week.
When driving, people accept they will spend time stuck in traffic, pay for parking and walk from the parking lot to the office. They understand and plan around this inconvenience, and it is an inconvenience that falls squarely on the shoulders of the individual.
The inconveniences of cycling to work include getting wet or sweaty, storing your bike and not being able to carry as much stuff to or from work as you might in your car. These are matters that are hard to deal with for the individual, but are easily resolved with a little assistance from the workplace.
It is not too difficult to imagine a workplace where it is possible to shower and get changed after riding in or where clothes can be stored overnight.
It’s easy to imagine a workplace that provides a secure place to store your bike. Imagine a workplace that gives prime ‘parking’ to bike storage rather than the cars. Imagine a workplace that provides corporate gifts that helps people get their gear to work with courier bags, other cycling gear and/or provides in house tools.
In short, workplaces can make cycling an attractive option or create barriers to staff riding to work. It is the workplace that helps cyclists overcome the small inconveniences. It is the workplace that creates the environment for workers to be healthy and centred when they arrive at work.
These small changes can all be justified by reference to greater societal goals – they contribute to a healthier society, a better environment, a less cluttered city.
If you’re in Vancouver, check out some of these bike friendly business solutions from Hub Cycling, a Vancouver based cycling organization. Their program will focus on assessing your space, engaging your staff, achieving improvements on site and then helping you get recognition as a bike friendly workplace (so you can attract those millennials as new employees).
And making it easier for people to cycle to work can be a boon for the workplace. An office that encourages cycling is filled with healthy workers and is part of a vibrant community where people walk and talk and engage with what is around them.
Check out this awesome video from Fairware client Vancity and HUB Cycling on creating bicycle friendly workplaces.
Want to learn more about Fairware and our awesome corporate gifts and bike themed give-aways? Connect with us .