By Bikes Make Life Better
Creating a community of bike riders who identify as such is a much stronger approach to behavior change than just promoting biking as a transportation option. This is, admittedly, hard to pull off, but we collected a few examples to show how building community through bikes is possible for any large company.
WOMEN TRANS FEMME BIKE CLUB — META
Three years ago, Bikes Make Life Better launched the Women Trans Femme Bike Club at Meta’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California (and yes, that’s WTF for short, which has helped to pique interest). This was Meta’s first formal women’s bike club, although it had been running women-only bike repair classes for a year. The group attracted more than 100 members in the first month alone — an indicator that we’d struck gold.
WTF hosts group rides and bike maintenance classes on a monthly basis. At the end of a WTF bike maintenance class, one participant remarked, “Having a class geared towards women is nice. It makes things a bit more casual and comfortable.” We agree!
VIRTUAL BIKE PROGRAMS — GOOGLE
Google provides an excellent example of how to grow and foster a bike community virtually. During the pandemic, the company managed to expand the scope of its bike program beyond the reaches of its Bay Area headquarters by implementing a Biking@Home workstream that included:
- Internal social media pages
- Community Zwift rides
- Virtual bike trouble shooting with a Google bike tech
- Virtual pre- and post-ride stretching and recovery
- Live interviews with professional athletes and leaders in the cycling industry
- “Local Info” pages where Googlers could share events and rides happening in their area
When Google asked employees to track their trips for Bike Month in 2021 — with a goal to circumnavigate the globe in a single week — it was clear that Biking@Home was a success: Googlers in 32 countries across five continents logged more than 27,000 miles and 3,000 trips. Carolyn Hernandez, Google’s mobility program manager, elaborated, “We tracked progress on our site with a Google map, and you could watch Sprocket and Link (Google’s bike mascots) bike around the planet. By Friday afternoon, we made it! We asked people to post their photos on our internal site, and it was just a lot of fun and a very successful event.”
Check out our Online Bike Forum: How Google Kept Employees Riding and Grew its Global Bike Community During a Pandemic for more.
A BICYCLE SHOP AND EDUCATION SPACE — STANFORD RESEARCH PARK
The ability to connect to our communities while working from home is important, but nothing beats face-to-face interactions. That’s why we were thrilled when Stanford Research Park (SRP) asked us to design a bike shop for a new community space it was planning. Three years in the making, The Hub is now open for business and boasts a cafe, a large conference room for classes and meetings and Mike’s Bikes — a full service shop that supports the research park’s 1,000 bike commuters.
The brick and mortar shop and education space have been instrumental in re-establishing SRP’s bicycle community as employees return to work. Turn out for events has been heartening — a typical in-person bike event attracts 20-40 participants, with special events, like Bike to Work Day, in the hundreds! Plus, more than 100 employees took advantage of a Bike Month helmet promotion managed by Mike’s Bikes.
Bikes Make Life Better is dedicated to helping employees at large organizations use bikes for healthy sustainable transportation. We’ve designed bike programs, facilities and fleets for Meta, Google, Uber, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Salesforce, Stanford, Walmart, and others.