Our local Patagonia store has literally gone all-out for bike commuting.
It all started last May, when they began a store-wide commuter challenge for National Bike Month and as part of an effort by store managers to reduce their ecological footprint.
The response was so positive that manager Tim Reinhardt decided to make it a year-round program. He also worked to get other Patagonia stores involved.
I stopped by their shop yesterday to see how things have been going and I was stunned at how much the program has taken off. Right inside the entrance is a big Bike to Work display and an indoor bike rack overflowing with employee bikes.
The display features free maps and resources, a TV showing the BTA’s Decide to Ride PSAs (developed back in 2000), and a sign from a letter-writing and petition campaign for the Bike Commuter Act.
As I snapped some photos, I met employee Gladys Ruiz. She said that in April, 72% of the store’s employees rode their bikes to work (13% took transit). That’s a great accomplishment, but Ruiz figured they could do even better.
She showed me a chart with the results of Patagonia’s company-wide Bike Commute Challenge. As you can see from the image below, during the week of May 12-18 the Portland store took an amazing 100% of their commute trips by bike!
Patagonia’s Denver and Seattle stores didn’t do too bad either. They finished the week with 89% and 84% bike commuting respectively.
Ruiz said they worked hard to make it happen by having raffles throughout the week. Prizes included; a one-hour, paid break to get out and ride the store’s Fat Tire Cruiser bike, and free massages, gear, and bike tune-ups.
Also during that week, the store promoted the Bike Commuter Act by encouraging customers to learn about the bill, sign a petition and write letters to their representatives in Congress. Ruiz said they had a “huge response”.
Assistant manager Tim Reinhardt exemplifies the level of dedication the store has to bike commuting. He lives in Vancouver and his five year-old daughter goes to kindergarten in Portland’s central eastside. He usually carpools on the one day a week when he’s responsible for taking her to school.
This month he was determined to cut out that car trip so his daughter hopped on their trail-a-bike and rode to school. The trip was made easier by support from Tim’s co-workers. A few of them met up with the father-daughter duo at a coffee shop in North Portland and rode into the city together.
Kudos to Patagonia for going the extra mile and for reminding us that every day is bike to work day.