Back in September, Cascade Bicycle Club got a visit from Alan Dodson, Michael Henderson and Becky Roberts of the Seattle architecture firm Miller Hull. The threesome had biked from Miller Hull’s downtown office to deliver a $1,500 check, the end result of the firm’s effort to boost employee participation in Cascade’s Group Health Commute Challenge last May.
Miller Hull—which has entered teams in the Commute Challenge for five years—pledged in 2010 to donate one dollar for every mile logged by employees during Bike Month. They split the contribution between Cascade and Bike Works, a nonprofit that builds sustainable communities by educating youth and promoting bicycling.
The incentive served not only to encourage bicycle commuting at Miller Hull, but also to reflect the firm’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It was wildly successful. Participation in the Commute Challenge doubled at the office compared with any other year, for a total of 3,000 cycling miles logged by 24 employees, or an average of 125 miles per rider.
“When the partners at Miller Hull challenged our office to ride by donating one dollar per mile to bike friendly organizations, it was a game changer,” said Alan Dodson, who organized the Commute Challenge effort at the office. “As the mileage began to build…1000, 2000…our riders’ excitement snowballed as we realized that our efforts were going to lead to a significant donation.”
Michael, who started bike commuting as a result of the Challenge, said, “It was a great opportunity to get in shape. I’d try to get to work faster every day.” He added that the competition helped make biking normal and easy for him. He and other participating employees still commute regularly by bike, and Miller Hull continues to support them. The firm purchased an office bicycle that staff can use for errands during the day, and the building where they work added 15 to 20 bike parking spots in the garage.
Miller Hull’s Commute Challenge teams are now ramping up for another great year, in which they’ll defend their first place trophy in the highly competitive architecture and engineering sector.
Cascade thanks the whole bicycling crew at Miller Hull for their generous donation and leadership in promoting bike commuting. We cheer them on as they pedal forward, just as we put their contribution to work helping other individuals and businesses bring out their bikes and ride.
If you are an employer or work for one that would like to increase bicycle commuting, we can help. Visit www.cbcef.org/bike-commuting-employers.html or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about the types of services that Cascade offers, such as workplace bike-ability assessments, bicycle infrastructure planning and customized classes. Of course, you can also offer your employees an enticing incentive like Miller Hull did.