Help Me Convince My Co-Workers to Bike to Work

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.soc archive' started by Red Raschke, Mar 1, 2003.

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  1. Red Raschke

    Red Raschke Guest

    Hello all,

    I am giving a speech at my company about the benifits of Biking, or at least not driving a car to
    work without any passengers. Any advice on how best to get my point across? I have thought I
    several ideas to present to them, but any other brainstorming/help would be appreciated. Any good
    links? Thanks,

    Joel Madison, WI
     
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  2. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Red Raschke" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I am giving a speech at my company about the benifits of Biking, or at
    least
    > not driving a car to work without any passengers. Any advice on how best
    to
    > get my point across? I have thought I several ideas to present to them,
    but
    > any other brainstorming/help would be appreciated. Any good links?
    Thanks,
    >
    > Joel Madison, WI

    1. Wave dollars at them.

    Time not needed in the gym. Gas not burned. Auto maintenance not needed.

    2. Say that it's not an all or nothing thing. Just 'try it' once or twice a week.

    3. Get them thinking about alternate routes. Someone who only drives probably does not know that
    there is a way to work apart from the interstate/busy arterials. Have them take a map, and draw a
    straight line from home to work. Then, work out the best streets closest to that line.

    4. Effective cycling. Many of these people may have only ridden on the bikepath and/or sidewalk
    since childhood. Or not at all.

    5. Lead by example.

    Pete note that NONE of these methods worked for me...:(
     
  3. Red Raschke wrote:
    >
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I am giving a speech at my company about the benifits of Biking, or at least not driving a car to
    > work without any passengers. Any advice on how best to get my point across? I have thought I
    > several ideas to present to them, but any other brainstorming/help would be appreciated. Any good
    > links? Thanks,

    You may like http://www.bicyclinglife.com/PracticalCycling/index.html

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  4. Barry Gaudet

    Barry Gaudet Guest

    Red Raschke <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Hello all,

    : I am giving a speech at my company about the benifits of Biking, or at least not driving a car to
    : work without any passengers. Any advice on how best to get my point across? I have thought I
    : several ideas to present to them, but any other brainstorming/help would be appreciated.

    At my workplace I suggested the following: Institute an auto tax.

    Any one who drives alone in an SUV or truck pays $15/day to park

    Anyone who drives alone in an economy automobile pays $10/day.

    Anyone who drives with one passenger pays $5/day.

    All those who take public transit or carpool with more than one passenger get a push.

    All those who cycle or walk divy up the proceeds of the tax.

    Works for me. :)

    But for some reason I didn't get any positive feedback. :(

    --
    'People think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time All day long I think of things
    but nothing seems to satisfy' 'Make a joke and I will sigh And you will laugh and I will
    cry' -Black Sabbath
     
  5. On Mon, 10 Feb 2003 20:33:18 -0600, Red Raschke <[email protected]> wrote: >Hello all, > >I
    am giving a speech at my company about the benifits of Biking, or at least >not driving a car to
    work without any passengers. Any advice on how best to >get my point across? I have thought I
    several ideas to present to them, but >any other brainstorming/help would be appreciated. Any good
    links? Thanks, > >Joel
    >Madison, WI > >

    I would not bike to work if there were no showers/changing areas available. Peole might not want to
    show up all sweaty with the hair all mussed. A place to secure the bike is also helpful. How well
    equipped is the workplace?

    Frank
     
  6. "Red Raschke" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I am giving a speech at my company about the benifits of Biking, or at least not driving a car to
    > work without any passengers. Any advice on how best to get my point across? I have thought I
    > several ideas to present to them, but any other brainstorming/help would be appreciated. Any good
    > links? Thanks,

    It would be helpful to get more information about the profile of typical commuters and the
    amenities, incentives, and discouragements that your work place provides for the different modes of
    commuting.

    For example:

    Does your work place subsidize parking? In other words, is parking provided for free to the
    employees? At my work place, this is not the case, and parking in the building costs $25/day. As a
    result, I don't know of anyone who regularly commutes by car at my workplace. Since most places do
    have free parking, what is the cost of providing parking for everyone? Just an interesting
    question to ask.

    Does your work place subsidize public transit? At my work place, transit, bus, and ferry passes are
    provided free by the employer. It's not surprising that nearly everyone uses some form of public
    transportation.

    What kind of incentives does your work place provide for bicyclists? You mentioned showers. My
    husband's work place also has lockers and a towel service. Is the bicycle parking adequate? So many
    places have really downright unusable racks. Is there any security for the bicycle parking?

    Now, how far are people going? Since I work for a quasi-public agency with relatively low salaries,
    and the Seattle housing market is so expensive, employees rarely live close to the job. No one in my
    immediate work group lives in Seattle. I have the shortest commute at 15 miles; two come 60 miles
    away. It's one thing to contemplate a 15 mile bike ride in the morning, it's another to think about
    a 60 mile ride.

    For my work place, if I were to promote bicycling, I would have to do it in conjunction with another
    mode of transport. Since everyone knows the freeways are a mess for SOVs, and public transportation
    is subsidized by the employer, my message would be how easy it is to do a multi-modal commute: ride
    to the park-and-ride, transit station, or ferry terminal, rather than drive, and perhaps save time
    -- or at least not spent that much more -- and get exercise at the same time.

    That fits the profile of my workplace. Your message might look very different.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire ([email protected]) Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
    http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
  7. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On 11 Feb 2003 11:27:53 GMT, Barry Gaudet <[email protected]> wrote:

    > At my workplace I suggested the following: Institute an auto tax.

    One company in the UK has recently started paying the executive mileage allowance to people who come
    in by bike.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  8. Red Raschke

    Red Raschke Guest

    Yes,

    My workplace has both a bike rack and men's and women's shower rooms with lockers. That is why I
    don't understand why there are never more than 7 or 8 bikes on the rack when there are 800+ people
    working there at any one time.

    Thanks everyone for all the input.

    "Frank Wilkinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Mon, 10 Feb 2003 20:33:18 -0600, Red Raschke <[email protected]> wrote: >Hello all, > >I
    > am giving a speech at my company about the benifits of Biking, or at least >not driving a car to
    > work without any passengers. Any advice on how best to >get my point across? I have thought I
    > several ideas to present to them, but >any other brainstorming/help would be appreciated. Any good
    > links? Thanks, > >Joel
    > >Madison, WI > >
    >
    >
    > I would not bike to work if there were no showers/changing areas available. Peole might not want
    > to show up all sweaty with the hair all mussed. A place to secure the bike is also helpful. How
    > well equipped is the workplace?
    >
    > Frank
     
  9. Frank Wilkinson wrote:
    >
    > I would not bike to work if there were no showers/changing areas available. Peole might not want
    > to show up all sweaty with the hair all mussed. A place to secure the bike is also helpful. How
    > well equipped is the workplace?

    I must say, that (common) attitude about the showers astounds me.

    I think this must be tied to the Buycycling magazine image of cycling for speed, and cycling only in
    the proper uniform. When I ride to work (7 miles) I take it fairly easy. I may have to mop my brow a
    bit for the first five minutes, but there's no way on earth I need a shower.

    Changing area? I ride in my work clothes - that is, dress pants, dress shirt, dress shoes,
    occasionally a tie. The only time I feel a need to have a change of clothes is if I'm riding in when
    it's above 85 degrees or so. That's a rare thing indeed.

    You don't need a special uniform to ride a bike. You don't have to shower after the first drop of
    perspiration appears, either. Just take it easy on the way in. If you feel a need to ride hard and
    fast, do that on the way home.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  10. Miernik

    Miernik Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Frank Wilkinson wrote:
    > I would not bike to work if there were no showers/changing areas available. Peole might not want
    > to show up all sweaty with the hair

    I sometimes hear people say comments (on riding bike to work) like this, and I never understand
    them. I ride the bike everywhere if the distance is less than 5 km, and I do not get "all sweaty and
    messed up" any more than going by foot or by taking any other means of transport.

    I don't know how you are riding you bike, but maybe you don't have to ride 25 km/h ?

    --
    Miernik ____________________________________________________ ___ ICQ: 4004001 ___/___ tel.:
    +48608233394 ___/ mailto:[email protected] No Iraq war
    http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/iraq/invadeIraq082702.html Please call the White House
    +1-202-456-1111 or fax +1-202-456-2461 and say no!
     
  11. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Red Raschke" <[email protected]> wrote in news:v4j2qbpa1fnde7 @corp.supernews.com:
    > My workplace has both a bike rack and men's and women's shower rooms with lockers. That is why I
    > don't understand why there are never more than 7 or 8 bikes on the rack when there are 800+ people
    > working there at any one time.

    That's a great start. You might want to try starting up a bike mentoring program to share routes and
    commuting tips. Also, group rides would encourage beginners.
     
  12. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Frank Wilkinson wrote:
    > >
    > > I would not bike to work if there were no showers/changing areas available. Peole might not want
    > > to show up all sweaty with the hair all mussed. A place to secure the bike is also helpful. How
    > > well equipped is the workplace?
    >
    > I must say, that (common) attitude about the showers astounds me.
    >

    It wouldn't astound you if, like me, you lived in southern Arizona and faced months of 105+
    temperatures every year. Of course, I also have to wear a suit on a regular basis...so I end up
    sweating my nuts off even taking an automobile to work. YMMV
     
  13. On Tue, 11 Feb 2003 21:18:19 -0500, Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Frank Wilkinson wrote:
    >>
    >> I would not bike to work if there were no showers/changing areas available. Peole might not want
    >> to show up all sweaty with the hair all mussed. A place to secure the bike is also helpful. How
    >> well equipped is the workplace?
    >
    >I must say, that (common) attitude about the showers astounds me.
    >

    Don't be astounded. I live in Philly where its HOT and HUMID during the summer months. This past
    summer was the worst in recent memory. We had several heat waves (1-2 weeks each) of 90+ days right
    through the end of September. The sky is grey in the summer here from the haze created by the
    humidity. I would show up drenched, sometimes dripping, in sweat. Give me an 80 degree day with low
    humidity and I will skip the shower too. It has nothing to do with Bicycling magizine; it has
    everything to do with my personal tasts - I like to look (and smell) presentable. I never know when
    Dean might walk in to the lab offering a newly-created position (well I can *dream* can't I?).

    We went right from summer into winter. While I can get away without a shower now, I still prefer to
    take one. Why? the shower factlity here is great. Boiling-hot water comes out like a fire hose. Its
    much preferable to the mist that i get in my apartment.
     
  14. Cathy Kearns

    Cathy Kearns Guest

    I often use my utility bike to run errands, do grocery shopping, ride kids to school and such. No,
    you don't need a special outfit if you are going 3 miles or so, (the 5km mentioned below) but here
    in the US, San Francisco bay area there is a bit of additional equipment needed:

    Children are required to wear helmets. Many adults feel safer wearing helmets too. I tend to wear a
    helmet if I am riding on or crossing streets busy enough to have a dotted line drawn down them. Once
    you get into helmets, you run across the helmet hair problem. Though I have no problems grocery
    shopping with helmet hair, I would have problems giving a big presentation at work with the vent
    bumps in my hair I get from bicycling. This would be easily overcome with shower facilities.

    Second is the streets here aren't always dry even in summer. Someone is always over watering or
    emptying their pool, or something. Light colored clothes would show splatters. Khakis would be out.
    Also bikes here are seldom (read never) sold with chain guards. Unless you have very wrinkle
    resistant pants, you will spend the day wandering around with wrinkles around one ankle. Either of
    the above problems can be fixed by wearing running pants/bike pants to work and changing.

    Finally, the not sweating thing. In our area very little BO is accepted at work. Though I can easily
    ride 3 flat miles without sweating, if you throw in a big hill or 5 more miles, I really, really
    need a shower. Here also, the number of people working within 3 flat miles of their home is very
    small. If you want to pull any reasonable number of people out of cars to biking you need to provide
    showers, and a safe place to park their bikes.

    "Frank Krygowski" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Frank Wilkinson wrote:
    > >
    > > I would not bike to work if there were no showers/changing areas available. Peole might not want
    > > to show up all sweaty with the hair all mussed. A place to secure the bike is also helpful. How
    > > well equipped is the workplace?
    >
    > I must say, that (common) attitude about the showers astounds me.
    >
    > I think this must be tied to the Buycycling magazine image of cycling for speed, and cycling only
    > in the proper uniform. When I ride to work (7 miles) I take it fairly easy. I may have to mop my
    > brow a bit for the first five minutes, but there's no way on earth I need a shower.
    >
    > Changing area? I ride in my work clothes - that is, dress pants, dress shirt, dress shoes,
    > occasionally a tie. The only time I feel a need to have a change of clothes is if I'm riding in
    > when it's above 85 degrees or so. That's a rare thing indeed.
    >
    > You don't need a special uniform to ride a bike. You don't have to shower after the first drop of
    > perspiration appears, either. Just take it easy on the way in. If you feel a need to ride hard and
    > fast, do that on the way home.
    >
    > --
    > Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  15. On Wed, 12 Feb 2003 04:58:36 +0100, Miernik <[email protected]> wrote: >In article
    <[email protected]>, Frank Wilkinson wrote: >> I would not bike to work if
    there were no showers/changing areas
    >> available. Peole might not want to show up all sweaty with the hair >

    >I sometimes hear people say comments (on riding bike to work) like >this,
    and I never understand them. I ride the bike everywhere if the >distance is less than 5 km, and I do
    not get "all sweaty and messed >up" any more than going by foot or by taking any other means of
    >transport. > >I don't know how you are riding you bike, but maybe you don't have to >ride 25 km/h ?

    My one-way distance is 10 miles (22 km). Because of where I live (Philadelphia, PA) I can get sweaty
    just walking out my front door during summer months. We have two seasons here - a hot and humid
    summer and winter. I don't necessarily need a shower after riding when the temperature is below
    freezing but I prefer to take one. If there was no shower here i would only ride in when it is cold.

    I do try to speed to work (averaging 15-18 mph) for two reasons. The first is time. If I slowed to
    10 mph it would take me an hour to go each way (two hours total commute time). No thanks - I don't
    need two hours commuting on top of a 10 hour work day. The second is conditioning. If i didn't use
    my commuting time to train, I would be in even more piss-poor shape than I am now.

    Lets remember that people's motivations are what they are regardless of whether you agree with them.
    Find out what those motivations are and maybe we can address those issues (it may be showers, it may
    be roads, it may be distance, it may be image) and get more people on the bike.

    Frank Wilkinson
     
  16. Miernik <[email protected]> wrote:
    : In article <[email protected]>, Frank Wilkinson wrote:
    :> I would not bike to work if there were no showers/changing areas available. Peole might not want
    :> to show up all sweaty with the hair

    : I sometimes hear people say comments (on riding bike to work) like this, and I never understand
    : them. I ride the bike everywhere if the distance is less than 5 km, and I do not get "all sweaty
    : and messed up" any more than going by foot or by taking any other means of transport.

    Sometimes I prefer biking to taking bus/train and walking, because then I can work fresh from shower
    instead of having sweated while walking and being kind of sticky/itchy - depends on what clothes one
    wears but it's a personal comfort issue.

    : I don't know how you are riding you bike, but maybe you don't have to ride 25 km/h ?

    Oh noo noo I can't do that, I'd be so slow and then biking wouldn't be superior to driving. Besides,
    how about my conditioning? ;)

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  17. Patrick Lamb

    Patrick Lamb Guest

    Frank Wilkinson wrote:
    > We went right from summer into winter. While I can get away without a shower now, I still prefer
    > to take one. Why? the shower factlity here is great. Boiling-hot water comes out like a fire hose.
    > Its much preferable to the mist that i get in my apartment.

    Right, not to mention the company pays to heat the water instead of me. How can you lose?

    Pat
    --
    Apologies to those easily confused. Address is spam-resistant. Correct email address like pdlamb
    'round-about comcast point net.
     
  18. Cathy Kearns wrote:
    >
    > I often use my utility bike to run errands, do grocery shopping, ride kids to school and such. No,
    > you don't need a special outfit if you are going 3 miles or so, (the 5km mentioned below) but here
    > in the US, San Francisco bay area there is a bit of additional equipment needed:
    >
    > Children are required to wear helmets. Many adults feel safer wearing helmets too. I tend to wear
    > a helmet if I am riding on or crossing streets busy enough to have a dotted line drawn down them.
    > Once you get into helmets, you run across the helmet hair problem. Though I have no problems
    > grocery shopping with helmet hair, I would have problems giving a big presentation at work with
    > the vent bumps in my hair I get from bicycling. This would be easily overcome with shower
    > facilities.

    Well, the entire helmet issue has been discussed worse-than-endlessly in these groups. If you
    feel safer in a helmet, you'd probably do better to get rid of that feeling. The gain in
    protection is apparently slight enough that it takes only a small increase in risky behavior to
    negate the benefits.

    If you insist on wearing one despite the data, you might consider a hairstyle that's less sensitive
    to funny hats. _Urban Bikers' Tips & Tips_ by Dave Glowacz (ISBN 0-9651728-0-5) has some
    suggestions.

    > Second is the streets here aren't always dry even in summer. Someone is always over watering or
    > emptying their pool, or something. Light colored clothes would show splatters. Khakis would be
    > out. Also bikes here are seldom (read never) sold with chain guards. Unless you have very wrinkle
    > resistant pants, you will spend the day wandering around with wrinkles around one ankle. Either of
    > the above problems can be fixed by wearing running pants/bike pants to work and changing.

    Folks, I live in Northeast Ohio. Our city was ranked fourth wettest in the US, in terms of annual
    hours that precipitation falls. (And the humidity isn't much different from Philadelphia.) Yet I
    often ride in khakis.

    First, use fenders. No serious commuting bike should be without them. That cures the spatters.

    Second, use a wax-based chain lubricant. You can keep your chain very clean that way. It won't be
    clean enough to lick, but it won't smear your clothes with oily grime, either. Wipe it down once a
    week or so to keep it cleaner.

    Third, forget the pants clips. Use a safety pin on each cuff. You can fold the cuff back to the
    outside as carefully as necessary, and pin
    it. It will stay out of the chain, and it won't be bunched and wrinkled when you arrive.

    > Finally, the not sweating thing. In our area very little BO is accepted at work.

    ??? How many places in America accept BO?

    Body odor is not a normal byproduct of sweat. I shower before I ride in each morning. When I
    arrive, all I need to do is wipe the perspiration off my brow. I work in close contact with lots of
    people. Nobody can tell when I arrive by bike or when I arrive by car. I know because they ask from
    time to time.

    If you have problems with body odor, it's because you've got some undesirable bacteria colonizing
    your skin and/or your undershirt, etc. Speak to your doctor about it. Antibacterial soaps will
    cure this, although it may be necessary to ditch your undershirts, etc. to prevent recurrence.
    Even antiseptic mouthwashes can cure it, if applied to the skin daily for a few days. Don't accept
    it as normal.

    FWIW, I've been commuting by bike since 1977. When I started, I lived in Georgia - which certainly
    has plenty of heat and humidity! Like most people, I ride to work in the morning. Even on a Georgia
    summer day, 8 AM temperatures aren't bad if you take it easy.

    Commuting by bike is not that hard. Most of the excuses people give - especially "omigod, I might
    stink!!" - are just excuses.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  19. Frank Wilkinson <[email protected]> wrote:
    : I do try to speed to work (averaging 15-18 mph) for two reasons. The first is time. If I slowed to
    : 10 mph it would take me an hour to go each way (two hours total commute time). No thanks - I don't
    : need two hours commuting on top of a 10 hour work day. The second is conditioning. If i didn't use
    : my commuting time to train, I would be in even more piss-poor shape than I am now.

    For the second one, the speed really depends on which phase of your training you are in. If it's the
    base-building part of the season, you should ride at a modest pace, but eventually perhaps add some
    miles to your commute, so you have a solid endurance base. Later on you can add speed and when you
    reach your interval phase, you can ride the safer sections much faster and have the recovery periods
    at red lights or other situations where fast riding is not that safe.

    Don't be a slave of your circumstances, better utilize them creatively for more efficient and
    meaningful training ;)

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  20. On Wed, 12 Feb 2003 21:57:44 -0500, Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Commuting by bike is not that hard. Most of the excuses people give - especially "omigod, I might
    >stink!!" - are just excuses.

    Frank, I agree with this statement 100%. But, I hope that you will agree that people have different
    circumstances and that for some people a shower might be the difference in making bike commuting a
    viable option. What might be an excuse for one person (such as distance) might be a valid reason for
    another. For those people with valid "excuses", they will never become bike commuters until those
    "excuses" are addressed.

    Frank Wilkinson
     
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