A couple Sundays ago, I decided to hop on to a ride organized by Adobe.  I’m told the ride was part of Adobe’s new push to get more folks within the company riding.  This was the inaugural ride.

Not knowing how many people would attend, the ride organizers optimistically planned for 30.  Close to 70 showed up spanning from serious racers to families with kids.  It was heartening to see so many Adobe employees, family members and friends eager to ride.

More than that though, here’s the important point.

SVBC’s mission is to improve the community, economy and environment by getting more folks to ride for everyday use.  SVBC accomplishes this mission in two ways.  First, there is a focus on infrastructure – bike lanes, green paint – working with local governments to prioritize and direct resources to create pedal-friendly cities.  Then, we get people to USE those bikes lanes through fun events and classes like Bike to Work Day, Viva CalleSJ, Safe Routes to Schools, bikepools, and more.

These methods for increasing ridership are important but what Sunday’s ride emphasized was the significant role of a person’s place of employment.  If companies decide to put resources into the goal of increasing bicycling, the changes needed to address climate change and our obesity epidemic would be adopted more quickly.  In Adobe’s case, to promote the ride a fun youtube video was created, informational tables at strategic locations (cafeterias and lobbies) were set up to spread the word and start an internal email list.   They also photoshopped key Adobe employees onto bikes that were then posted in elevator displays and break room monitors in addition to email outreach.  As a result, 70 riders showed up, a wonderful start to an increased cycling culture at Adobe.

Adobe is not alone.  There are many companies that understand the ripple effect of increased bicycling on employee productivity, the health of the planet, traffic congestion and more.  Thank you to all the businesses out there that are actively promoting the bike for everyday use.

Sidenote:  For those of you who read this and are thinking about what you can do to get your company involved, Bike to Work Day is the next good opportunity.  Contact Marissa Avina (marissa@bikeksiliconvalley.org) to see how your company can host an energizer station and other fun ways to take advantage of May 12th, Bike to Work Day.