Did you know that almost 40 percent of car trips are under two miles? And if every person living this close to their workplace ditched their cars on Bike to Work Day alone, more than 60,000 vehicles would be off the road, reducing tailpipe emissions by more than 150,000 pounds?
As part of Symantec's Mountain View Green Team for the last three years, I have had the pleasure of taking part in various activities that support Symantec's broader sustainability efforts. My personal favorite and biggest passion is our annual Bike to Work Day. Every year Symantec sponsors and participates in Bike to Work Day, organized by Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. We are proud to be a part of this national and Silicon Valley community event featuring thousands of cyclers from our neighbors and peers including Google, Facebook, Adobe and HP.
Every year Symantec features an energizer station offering participants a place to refuel with drinks and snacks, visit with Symantec employees and pick up free gifts provided by Symantec such as water bottles, gift cards and more. Additionally, this year in preparation for Bike to Work Day, Sports Basement hosted a Fix a Flat tire clinic and came onsite to perform bike safety checks. Approximately 400 riders rode past the energizer station this year with 95 stopping in. Forty of these were Symantec employees!
Bike to Work Day Contest
This year's Bike to Work Day held on May 10th was particularly exciting as it marked the launch of our first summer-long Bike to Work contest. A group of us from the Mountain View Green Team felt that Bike to Work Day should be extended beyond a single day and developed the idea for a longer initiative that would last throughout the summer.
The Bike to Work Day contest runs from May 1st – August 31st. At the end of August, we will award $600 in prizes. The top two riders by miles, the top two by number of trips, and one randomly chosen winner will receive an official Symantec riding jersey.
So far, Symantec employees have ridden over 11,553 miles in three and a half months and saved over $1,600 in gas money.
There is still time to join! Employees simply need to log one ride to or from work before August 31st to qualify for the final prize drawing.
Tracking Miles and Gas Savings
To track miles, a team of us developed the Bike to Work Day website where employees can register and log their miles and trips. The site also calculates their gas savings per mile and allows them to set a gas savings goal. We've encouraged participants to donate their gas savings to an environmental non-profit of their choice and hope next year to expand this further.
At the moment we have nearly 40 active participants with some riding from as far as San Francisco! Currently, Thomas Kearsley is in the lead with 1,400 miles ($325 in gas savings) and Rosskyn D'Souza is in the lead with 154 trips ($151 in gas savings).
Bike to Work Day and the Bike to Work Day Contest were both a huge success. A big thank you to our participants, volunteers, and the executive support and sponsorship we received this year!
If you're a Symantec employee and would like to get involved in Bike to Work Day or the Green Team, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And watch this space for the announcement of our winners at the end of the month!
Have you participated in Bike to Work Day at your organization? Do you have ideas on how to extend Bike to Work Day? We want to hear from you in the comments below!
Anand Raj is a Symantec technical support engineer, and member of the Symantec Mountain View Green Team.