Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s strategy for increasing the use of the bicycle is to work through two major influencers of behavior:

  • Schools and
  • Employers

The premise is that if we teach kids about bicycling, they will turn into adults who will use the bicycle for every day transportation needs. They’ll likely pull their parents into the bike world as well. Schools are a twofer – kids and parents.

Likewise, businesses can influence the travel behavior of employees through financial incentives, health care policy and programs.

In this guest blog, Matthew Gyves tells the story of his new job in the U.S. with Adobe and its impact on his travel behavior.

What’s unique about this story is that an Adobe executive, Mike Dillon, has taken the lead on growing the Adobe Bicycling culture in the Bay Area. One thing Mike has done is to personally start a bikepool from Los Gatos to the Adobe Headquarters in Downtown San Jose.

This is exactly the kind of leadership that warms the cockles of SVBC’s heart. The role Mike plays in supporting Adobe’s program and personally getting involved is key to success.

Want to start a bikepool at your workplace? We’re happy to help! Contact us at kate@bikesiliconvalley.org


 


By Matt Gyves

Moving 5000 miles from the UK to California comes with many changes. Some are different (pants, trunk, sidewalk) some are strange (what is a corn dog?), and others are simply better (300 days of sunshine, the winery on my street and regular ‘cook-outs’).

But one change I’m enjoying most of all is the cycle to work.

I rode to work through the streets of London a few years back; dodging double decker buses, couriers and, on one occasion, The Queen (I cycled past The Palace), but riding South Bay style is very different. We’re lucky to have a trail that runs nearly all the way to San Jose, from the town of Los Gatos. It’s a treat to pedal alongside the creek, with its gentle undulation and varied wildlife (Mountain Lion warnings certainly improve your split times).

However, what makes the ride particularly enjoyable is the Adobe South Bay Bike Pool; a friendly group of cyclists who ride the path to work each week. Some days it’s just two of you, other times it’s a full peloton. Everyone is so welcoming, helpful and supportive. My velocipede of choice is an abomination to any serious cyclist. It doesn’t come with carbon-fibre integrated sprocket loops, it has panniers, a mounted lock and raised handlebars (who LIKES crouching?) …but nobody seems to care. It’s that you ride, not what you ride that counts.

Three weeks in, I’ve met some great new people, I’m already fitter and faster, and I need to eat more food to replace the burnt calories (unquestionably, the best reason to hit the saddle). My head is clearer too, as 45 minutes cycling is the perfect time to dissect a challenging conundrum, either alone or with colleagues.

Of course, you need to plan your week, and it adds about an hour to my day, but it’s much nicer than being inside a gym, and I’m just getting to and from work.

Adobe genuinely supports cyclists too, with lockers to stash clothes, secure bike cages and towels in the gym, plus incentive vouchers that help pay for spares and repairs.

Ultimately, the Adobe Bike Pool is a wonderful way to meet new colleagues (from across the company), stay healthy and beat the traffic. I even won the cycle-commuter sweepstake, in my first week – $25 of Starbucks vouchers! I’m going to spend them on a venti-mocha-choca-peanut-butter-latte, with a Jello-Twinkie chaser, while I watch the ‘soccer’…I think.