By Lindsay Plante, BFA Communications Intern
With more than 370,000 miles behind them, Trek Bicycle Corporation is the leading business in the National Bike Challenge. Their dedication to riding comes as no surprise to anyone who knows that love of bicycles goes beyond their mission to build the best bikes in the world. For Trek, bicycling is a way of life and a way to improve the lives of others. Health and Wellness Coordinator, Marcus Gagnon, took some time out from riding to share how bicycling fits into the workplace.
First off, as a bike company, we are pretty good at riding! The challenge was a perfect opportunity to get everyone riding and logging miles. We have embraced the challenge aspect and the competition has introduced even more people here at Trek to riding.
As a bicycle company, cycling is clearly part of your culture: How does that manifest in the workplace?
At Trek, we are passionate about building the best bicycles in the world and riding them. We have an environment that makes it easy and convenient to ride. From our commuter room and showers for biking to and from work, to the on-site mountain bike trails it’s easy to see how you can get hooked. We also incentivize employees to ride to work and allow flexibility to ride throughout the day.
Has the Challenge improved that cycling culture and/or created a stronger sense of camaraderie among staff?
We definitely saw an impact right away as we introduced new people to biking. Departments within our organization used this platform to build camaraderie and compete against other departments.
Has the Challenge helped to increase the number of employees who ride to work?
Our numbers have spiked in the past few months and people are riding and logging more miles than ever before. For any organization looking for a way to get employees more engaged in health and wellness activities this is a great tool to have at your disposal. People love to be part of a challenge against their peers and are proud to represent their organization in the national competition.
Have you already seen — or do you anticipate — any additional benefits, in terms of employee health, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, less congestion near your corporate campus, etc?
As the wellness coordinator, I love to see people out exercising. Since the beginning of the challenge we have seen the space in our newly renovated commuter room fill up quickly, and that is a problem that we like to have! Trek takes being green seriously and was the first manufacturer in Wisconsin to exclusively use green energy to power our facility. We also believe that the bicycle is a great tool to solve some of our country’s biggest problems including pollution and obesity.
Being based in Wisconsin, Trek had the opportunity to participate in the Challenge when it debuted at a state level last year. Is it exciting to see it expand to a national effort? Has that created an additional spark to get folks to participate?
Although we are based in Waterloo, Wisconsin, we have employees around the country and we are thrilled that we can include them in this year’s challenge. People are also excited to be able to complete against other companies around the nation.
From your experience, why should other workplaces get involved in the Challenge?
If other workplaces are looking for a way to bring people together, build moral, boost productivity, and reduce pollution, then this no-brainer.
Trek is already #1, but do you have any goals?
Stay on top!
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.