Planet Bike Awarded Platinum Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists

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Planet Bike is no stranger to advocacy efforts. Just this past April they awarded grants to six non-profit bicycle advocacy organizations, read more about that here. And in 2010 they were awarded Gold for all their efforts that year.

Being awarded Platinum is the highest recognition in the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program and Planet bike is among a group of only 42 other companies in the United States to have earned the Platinum distinction.

The League of American Bicyclists is the nation’s oldest bicycle advocacy organization and the goal of their BFB program is to encourage and assist businesses to create more bicycle-friendly workplaces. The hope is that when companies make more accommodations for bicyclists, employees are healthier, happier and more committed to sustainable business practices.

Marketing Manager Jereme Noffke stated in regards to Planet Bike achieving this honor “I think in some cases for companies in the industry we forget about how it feels to get started into the endeavor of bike commuting or it has been so long since the beginning for some of us that it becomes the norm. So we really focused on removing the “barrier to entry” for new or current employees looking to start into bike commuting which is the focus of two programs which have increased participation: Bike Buddy & Wrench Buddy.”

The Bike Buddy program is when a new employee joins Planet Bike, or an existing employee requests it, a fellow employee will be assigned as their “Bike Buddy”. Being a Bike Buddy includes:

  • Arranging bike review with a Wrench Buddy (see below).
  • Advising on appropriate bike gear for current and upcoming seasons (critical to promoting year around bike commuting in a four-season climate such as WI).
  • Mapping bike routes between home, work and other key destinations in the employee’s life.
  • Accompany employee from home to work for several days to lean routes, etc… (as needed).

The Wrench Buddy program offers an opportunity to work with fellow employees with knowledge of bicycle mechanics and will assist an employee to perform minor fixes and adjustments to their own bicycle:

  • Tune-up on an existing bike the employee is going to use or advising on the purchase of a new (or used) bike that will best fit the employees needs.
  • Education on basic maintenance. i.e. how to fix a flat, check tire pressure, brake pad wear, brake connection, installing/removing the front or rear tire, chain wear and maintenance
  • Basic understanding of tools on our work bench and what they are used for.
  • monthly bike check for the first three months of commuting (or as needed).
  • Advising or assisting on more significant tune-up of an existing bike.

On top of these two programs, Planet Bikes also has staff volunteer days. A couple examples are for Madison organizations such as Free Bikes 4 Kidz and Wheels for Winners.

Keep up the amazing work Planet Bike and congratulations on a well deserved Platinum Award!

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Does your place of work offer bicycle friendly programs? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

 

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