Bike Works promotes bicycling to both employees and the community

BizCycle attracted businesses of all shapes and sizes in its first round of certifications, most of which promote bicycling because they recognize that bicycling means business in terms of the benefits to employee health, productivity and happiness, and cost savings on parking infrastructure.

However, for a few of our first round workplaces, bicycling is the business. In the case of Bike Works, a silver level BizCycle workplace, bicycling is their mission. Bike Works combines youth development, community engagement, bicycle recycling and a social enterprise bike shop to help build a sustainable and healthy community.

"While Bike Works may be a different sort of organization than many seeking certification, this is exactly the sort of program Bike Works wants to support. We aim to promote cycling, and serve commuting cyclists, both experienced and new to commuting," stated Shop Director Steve Maluk on why Bike Works sought certification.

“We're educating youth and adults not just to repair bikes, but also on the benefits of bicycling as transportation.  So if we're true to that mission, we'll tend to exemplify it by riding a bike for transportation,” stated Steve Maluk, Shop Director at Bike Works.

With several veteran bike commuters on staff, the internal bike culture at Bike Works is fueled by employees attracted to the organization’s work from their own love of bicycling. To keep that momentum, Bike Works reimburses staff up to $0.15 per mile biked for making work trips by bicycle. Staff members also receive discounted parts and accessories at the retail bike shop. Long-term bike parking, showers and lockers are available to employees commuting to work by bicycle. And for those just visiting the bike shop, Bike Works had a bike corral installed out front that is shared by neighboring stores.

“[BizCycle certification] led us to rethink some of our practices and get a little better organized in how we track (and encourage) employee bike trips, and it's apparent that we need to become more sophisticated in how we do so,” Steve said. While a good number of employees bicycle regularly, commute habits aren’t officially reported or regularly measured, and Steve now has plans to improve that.

Located in Columbia City, one of the major items that Bike Works is leading on is making South Seattle safe for bicycling not only for the organization’s employees to get to work, but for people of all ages and abilities to feel safe and comfortable bicycling. The organization is involved with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways in South Seattle and has hosted South Seattle bicycle infrastructure planning events with the Seattle Department of Transportation as part of the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan Update process.

Congratulations to Bike Works for earning 33 of 50 possible credits toward Silver level certification!

The BizCycle certification system rates workplaces on a 50-point scale, with award levels at Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. How does your workplace measure up? Check out bizcycle.cascade.org for more information on how to apply or email bizcycle@cascadebicycleclub.org. 

 

Ryan Child
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