According to a new US Census Bureau survey, the number of people who commute to work by bicycle increased about 60% over the past decade, however bicyclists still account for less than 1% of all commuters.
This increase in biking to work can be partly attributed to groups across the country that are working hard to promote and support biking in their local communities.
We are proud to partner each year with one such organization – the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition - as part of the organization’s annual Bike to Work Day event. This year Bike to Work Day was held on May 8th, and as with previous years, Symantec hosted an Energizer Station where riders stopped by for snacks, drinks, free give-aways, and to chat with fellow riders. We raffled off prizes for employees including bike safety lights, a tool kit with 16 multifunction bike tools, and other free bike related gifts.
|Over 138 Bike riders, and over 40 Symantec employees dropped by Symantec’s Energizer Station in Mountain View for drinks, photos and free give-aways.|
|A biker signs in at Symantec’s Energizer station.|
This year we also set up a photo booth with fun props so riders could snap a memorable photo of their ride to work. Additionally, two weeks prior to the event we hosted a safety presentation to ensure employees, no matter what their experience riding, were prepared for the day.
|There’s always time for pictures! Bikers go wild at the BTWD photo booth.|
|More fun at the BTWD photo booth.|
Each year I look forward to this event, where we help the SVBC promote its mission to increase biking in Silicon Valley, while also encouraging our employees to choose a healthier and more environmentally friendly commute option. The SVBC is pivotal in supporting this cause in the Bay Area, and does so through a variety of programs such as setting up dedicated bike paths, encouraging the uptake of biking versus driving, educating both adults and children on safe biking practices, and advocating for government policies that support and protect bikers.
Missed Bike to Work Day? It’s Not Too Late
If you missed Bike to Work Day there is still plenty of time!
This year, Symantec has also joined the SVBC’s Company Bike Challenge (CBC), a fun and friendly cycling competition among companies throughout the Bay Area that encourages friends and colleagues to commute by bike during the month of May. Cyclists competing in the Team Bike Challenge will earn points for their team and company every time they ride their bike to work, the park, or any other destination.
If you haven’t joined Symantec’s Company Bike Challenge team, please do so. The more riders, the more points we get! To date, we have 27 members, and through the SVBC’s interactive online portal we are tracking the number of trips, GHG emissions saved, calories burned and miles cycled (see picture below).
|SVBC’s Company Bike Challenge provides an interactive website for teams that tracks miles cycled, lbs of CO2 saved and calories burned.|
Make Every Day Bike to Work Day
There are many reasons I choose to ride my bike to work (not every day, but as often as I can) – reducing my impact on the environment, increasing my daily exercise, and finding opportunities to commute with friends and family. But most importantly, I just enjoy it.
Thanks to all that came out and took part in Bike to Work Day this year, whether biking to work on the 8th, participating in the Company Bike Challenge, or volunteering to make our Energizer Station possible. Many thanks to George Schnurle, Jaya Wadhwani, Jaime Barclay, Ashley Savageau, Spike Burkhardt, Rod Cello, Ben Cota, Russell Hill, Elisa Ewing who volunteered at our Energizer Station and some rode their bikes to work as well.
We also hope this Bike to Work Day has convinced a few new riders to start a bike commute, and has reminded others why they choose to do it every day. If we have convinced just a few new people to bike to work more often, we consider this day and month a success!
To join Symantec’s CBC team or for any questions about Bike to Work Day, please contact Environmental Responsibility at Environmental_Responsibility@symantec.com.
Anand Raj Vengadassalam is a Technical Support Engineer and member of the Symantec Mountain View Green Team