Bike commuting facilities

A few simple amenities make for an easy commute. The most common bike commuter concern is secure parking at work.

Parking

Knowing that their bicycles are secure and protected from theft and the elements during work hours is reassuring to bicycle commuters.

The easiest — and cheapest — way to encourage bike parking is to allow your employees to bring their bike into the office. Bikes can easily be stored in cubicles, leaned against a desk, or in the corner of a conference room or storage area. Just like furniture or any other object, employees should not store their bikes near fire exits.

bike room at Cal-EPA HQAnother really great way to demonstrate your support in bicycle commuting is to invest in secure bicycle parking. Options include a secure bicycle room, bicycle lockers, secure garage parking, or bicycle storage within an office space. Learn more here about bike parking requirements for local businesses and building owners. While more and more buildings provide bike parking for their tenants, you should encourage your building owner to install quality bike parking if you are the commercial tenant.

If you have bicycling visitors coming for short term trips, install high-quality bike racks outdoors. These are by far the most common types of bicycle parking devices. Visually, the sight of a bike rack outside a building instantly promotes a community friendly image.

Flat tires, foul weather, family emergencies

Provide your employees who want to bicycle commute with peace of mind.

Maintain a “tube library”, stocked with replacement tubes for road and mountain bike tires, patch kits, tire irons, and a pump.

Offer a “Guaranteed Ride Home” program. In the event of mechanical failure, bad weather, or emergency at home, bicycle commuters may be given a ride, borrow a company car, or get their cab fare reimbursed. Local transportation management associations offer a guaranteed ride home to members.

But I haven’t even got a bike!

Purchase loaner bikes for employees to borrow, or arrange with a local bicycle shop for long-term rentals. That way, employees can get a feel for bicycle commuting before making a financial investment. If employees commit to bicycle commuting on a regular basis, they may buy their “loaner” from the company at a discount.

Meeting employee dress code

While some commuters (usually those who don’t have far to travel) won’t hesitate to hop on their bikes in suits and ties, business clothes and bike clothes are not always one and the same. Many potential bicycle commuters cite the need for professional attire at the workplace as an obstacle.

Provide a place for bicycle commuters to keep a week’s worth of clothes. Alternatives include spare closet areas, empty offices, standing wardrobes or lockers, or hooks on the back of the employee’s office door.

 NEXT: Employee bike commuting incentives