Announcing 2016’s Award Winners
Since starting the Bike-Friendly Business Awards in 2010, we’ve spoken with hundreds of workplaces that make it easier for their employees and customers to come and go on two wheels. Every year more and more businesses are looking to reap the benefits of getting more people biking. Together we are changing the way people travel and building a more bike-friendly East Bay for each other.
- Small Business Winner: kW Engineering
- Medium Business Winner: The Berkeley YMCA
- Large Business Winner: Mountain Hardwear
kW Engineering is a small, Oakland-based engineering firm that does big work on conservation by refurbishing existing buildings for better energy efficiency. CEO Jim Kelsey describes it as “saving the world, one building at a time.”
As a dedicated bike commuter, Jim brought his love of bikes into the workplace by remodeling kW’s building with bike-friendly features. The company has installed wall-mounted bike racks on each floor and provides regular bike tune-up sessions for employees. Every May, kW employees compete in the Team Bike Challenge, and kW gives awards for achieving mileage goals, with prizes including bike lights and messenger bags.
The Berkeley YMCA goes above and beyond to encourage both staff and members to get out and ride. The Y recently moved the offices of ten employees to make space for a large indoor bike parking room. “In the last three or four years we’ve been putting biking as a top goal for members to get to the Y,” said Executive Director Hae Won Row. A recent survey showed that 15% of members chose to bike to the Y, and Hae Won aims to raise that to 25% in the next two years. One of their strategies is to reward people during Bike Month with a punch card system. Every time someone arrives at the Y by bike they get their card punched, and the card is redeemable for prizes. Hae Won is also a supporter of protected bike lanes on Milvia Street and is excited about the arrival of bike share in the East Bay later this year.
Mountain Hardwear makes commuting to it’s Richmond headquarters a breeze, with indoor bike parking, showers, and even a washer and dryer for rainy day bike rides. Add a fleet of cruiser bikes for navigating headquarters and you can see why this business took the cake in the large company category.
As a member of Mountain Hardwear’s culture committee, Zachary Alexander looks for new ways to integrate bike culture into the company. Zach believes that “As more people ride, it’s a positive feedback loop, and more people want to try it out.” To support these new riders, employees post their bike commute routes on a large map in the bike parking area, inviting others to join them on their rides to and from work. A significant number of Mountain Hardwear workers commute from Marin, and Zach expects to see bike commuting get a bump when a new bike path opens on the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge in 2017.
Want to make your business more bike-friendly?
Visit BikeEastBay.org/workplaces for some great tips.
Past Years’ Awards
Take a look at the Bike East Bay’s past Bike-Friendly Business Award winners, including Actual Cafe, Sports Basement, and GU Energy.