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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-06-07, 11:53 PM   #1
10speed
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sales pitch at work

How do I sell my workplace on the idea of making the place more conducive to bike commuters? I work for a local hospital and it seems where they go the city follows. selling points so far:
  • 1.a parking space cost $10,000 a covered bike space $300
  • 2.healthcare forced daily exersise
  • 3.biking intakes oxygen,.you focus quicker(soon as you showup to work!)
  • I'm looking for more
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Old 04-07-07, 05:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10speed
How do I sell my workplace on the idea of making the place more conducive to bike commuters? I work for a local hospital and it seems where they go the city follows. selling points so far:
  • 1.a parking space cost $10,000 a covered bike space $300
  • 2.healthcare forced daily exersise
  • 3.biking intakes oxygen,.you focus quicker(soon as you showup to work!)
  • I'm looking for more
Dependability, less lost time due to healthy lifestyle (look for studies)
Able to get to work under adverse conditions that would stop cars


Aaron

Edit in Italics... PBC (posting before coffee)
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Last edited by wahoonc; 04-07-07 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 04-07-07, 05:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
Able to get to work under adverse conditions that would stop cars
This might seem like a completely bogus comment, but I'll back it up with personal experience. There were several days over this winter where my mountain bike proved its durability to me, allowing me to get around when and where a car wouldn't be practical.

You're right, though. Bike parking is inexpensive to add, bike commuters are investing in their health and they're more alert and energetic when they arrive. Ideally, showers and lockers should also be provided but I'd believe a hospital probably already has this stuff. Bike commuters are going to usually be more reliable, not just due to being healthier, but also because bicycle commute times are usually much more predictable than traffic (and sometimes, FASTER than driving during rush hour!)

Of course, being bike friendly alone won't always convert people to using their bikes. That's a different problem, though.
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Old 04-07-07, 06:08 AM   #4
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Even if you get in an accident, you're still very likely to show up to work (you just might not get there by bike).

You could use the 'one less car, everyone's air is a little cleaner' argument, since doctors/hospital staff are more likely to be in tune to the effects of respiratory ailments...
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Old 04-07-07, 06:18 AM   #5
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Even if you get in an accident, you're still very likely to show up to work (you just might not get there by bike).
You're bad!
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Old 04-07-07, 08:20 AM   #6
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if your company cares at all about their public image, maybe point out that being seen as a "green" company is very good PR
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Old 04-07-07, 08:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n
This might seem like a completely bogus comment, but I'll back it up with personal experience. There were several days over this winter where my mountain bike proved its durability to me, allowing me to get around when and where a car wouldn't be practical.

You're right, though. Bike parking is inexpensive to add, bike commuters are investing in their health and they're more alert and energetic when they arrive. Ideally, showers and lockers should also be provided but I'd believe a hospital probably already has this stuff. Bike commuters are going to usually be more reliable, not just due to being healthier, but also because bicycle commute times are usually much more predictable than traffic (and sometimes, FASTER than driving during rush hour!)

Of course, being bike friendly alone won't always convert people to using their bikes. That's a different problem, though.
Been there done that...more than once. I worked several jobs where I was the only one to show up on snow days. And believe me my boss let the rest of them have it!

Aaron
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Old 04-07-07, 09:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ax0n
This might seem like a completely bogus comment, but I'll back it up with personal experience. There were several days over this winter where my mountain bike proved its durability to me, allowing me to get around when and where a car wouldn't be practical.
What percentage of your coworkers, do you think, are going to come to work by bicycle when the weather conditions make the use of a car impractical? This question applies to everyone, not just axOn. Please no answers that say everybody could if only they were dedicated to bicycling or saving the environment or some some other irrelevant response.
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Old 04-07-07, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
What percentage of your coworkers, do you think, are going to come to work by bicycle when the weather conditions make the use of a car impractical? This question applies to everyone, not just axOn. Please no answers that say everybody could if only they were dedicated to bicycling or saving the environment or some some other irrelevant response.
Probably none. But the original question was for ideas on how to sell his company on providing cycle commuter facilities. However in my observation if a person commutes by bicycle on a regular basis they are more than likely going to be there regardless of the weather. I can only recall one time that I was LATE to work due to weather conditions. We had a heavy hail storm one morning just as I was leaving for work. It it about the only meteorological condition short of a hurricane that I would not commute in. Once the storm eased off I rode into work. There are plenty of fair weather commuters out there, and there are dedicated commuters that will ride regardless of the conditions, and there are people who choose to only have a bicycle for transportation. I have ridden my MTB in the snow and ice. I feel much safer and more in control on a bike than I do in a motor vehicle under snow conditions. For one you are at a slower speed and have much more control over what you are doing.

Aaron
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RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 04-07-07, 09:30 AM   #10
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It goes along with being alert, but the people who bike to work often feel happy and in a good mood by the time they get there, increasing productivity and bettering the work atmosphere.

When you say that, make sure you expose the common criticism: "yes, it sounds insignificant or even stupid, but when many workers start bike commuting, the atmosphere at the workplace generally lifts in the mornings. People genuinely are in a better mood and are better able to communicate and be productive."
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Old 04-07-07, 09:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 10speed
How do I sell my workplace on the idea of making the place more conducive to bike commuters? I work for a local hospital and it seems where they go the city follows. selling points so far:
  • 1.a parking space cost $10,000 a covered bike space $300
  • 2.healthcare forced daily exersise
  • 3.biking intakes oxygen,.you focus quicker(soon as you showup to work!)
  • I'm looking for more
"We're in the business of healthcare, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. We should promote that lifestyle by allowing our employees to commute to work in the manner that will promote that lifestyle the most.
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Old 04-07-07, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
What percentage of your coworkers, do you think, are going to come to work by bicycle when the weather conditions make the use of a car impractical? This question applies to everyone, not just axOn. Please no answers that say everybody could if only they were dedicated to bicycling or saving the environment or some some other irrelevant response.
I'm pretty sure as long as the person had become comfortable with riding in adverse conditions, quite a few would be the same way. See, my morning commute of 3 miles really isn't that far. It's actually so close that taking the bike, especially in winter, is faster and easier than taking the car. There's no idling the car for 20 minutes or standing outside freezing while scraping crap off of the car. You hop on the bike, pedal, and warm up quickly after that. Before my car would have gotten the chance to warm up, I'm already at my destination.

It just so happens that there were some days where I happened to choose the bike, and ended up being able to use it to get up hills that were bringing cars to a halt, or getting me through deep unplowed snow that my car would not have made it through. Sure, my Explorer would have gotten through all of that, and up the hills, but I never drive that thing. I would have likely tried to take my Focus if I decided not to ride my bike. It would have met certain doom at least three days this winter. At the very least I would have needed to find a different way to get where I was going.

I should also say my philosophy on bad weather (mostly since I don't let harsh conditions stop me very often) is that if it's too bad outside to use my bike, it's too bad to go to work.
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Old 04-07-07, 10:54 AM   #13
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Is "qcy,il"... Quincy, Illinois?
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Old 04-07-07, 10:59 AM   #14
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people who ride regularly are healthier and happier. Healthier means less time off for sickness or medical conditions. Healthier and Happier means better quality work from employees. and if the companyprovides some kind of perks incentive or even encouragement of cycling to work, it's good PR.
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Old 04-07-07, 11:00 AM   #15
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More organ donors? - Sorry, couldn't resist.

A hospital is full of influential doctors. Doctors understand the health benefits of exercise. Get a couple of doc's on your side and selling administration should be easy.
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Old 04-07-07, 01:09 PM   #16
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More organ donors? - Sorry, couldn't resist.

A hospital is full of influential doctors. Doctors understand the health benefits of exercise. Get a couple of doc's on your side and selling administration should be easy.
+1. Just find as many ways a possible to include terms such as "obesity epidemic", "Type 2 diabetes", and "heart disease" in your sales pitch, and you will most likely get enough physicians behind you to get what you need. Talk money saved and health care premiums with the administrators, and they'll be more receptive. Know your audience.
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Old 04-08-07, 02:05 AM   #17
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Is "qcy,il"... Quincy, Illinois?
yep! Work at Blessing in the boiler house so parking my bike is no problem. I realised the influence the hospital has on the community when the hospital decided to go smoke free the city began to consider it also. So while convincing my workplace to become more bike friendly might in itself not help me personally,it might get the ball rolling on creating an exellent bike friendly city. anyone who rides as an adult would fall in love with Quincy. The city has only 1 major 4 lane street. With some planning a bike can get you most places.It even has the midwests levelest century. If you want an evening ride the quincy to meyer ride is over 20 mi each way .About 1mi in the road slowly rises about 30 feet for railroad track the back down again to 20 enjoyable totally flat miles of road.
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Old 04-08-07, 01:39 PM   #18
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yep!
Hahahhahh! Just kidding. I used to live in Keokuk. Hey, stop laughing. It's not like I said I used to live in Ft Madison.

Yeah, I think Quincy would make a great bicycle city. It's relatively flat and small enough to get anywhere by bike. There isn't much beyond the city limits, maybe Hannibal. And my favorite micro building is in Quincy.

I wouldn't try to sell it like one might do in a big city like NY or Chicago. Instead I'd go to your chamber of commerce and get two city maps. Keep one in nice shape, cause you're going to use it in the presentation. With the other map as a sort of note book, ride north from the hospital at a normal pace and make a mark at 5 minutes of riding, another at 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 minute intervals. Then do the same for east, west and south. No point going beyond 30 minutes because I think you'll be way off the map. Then take that information and a highlighter, very neatly draw consentric rings for the time it would take to ride to the hospital. Okay, they would be more like concentric squares. When you show that map it will illustrate beyond all proof how easy and practical it would be to ride a bicycle to the hospital.

Then I would explain that even though it would be extremely easy for anyone to ride to the hospital, it's not really practical because there isn't any reasonably secure parking for bikes. Then show how it wouldn't take alot of reasorces to have a reasonably secure bike parking. As a sort of pilot program all you would need is one parking space which could fit four inverted "U" racks. That would accomodate 8 bikes. Try that as a start and then tie it in with the healthy living stuff. But try to keep in their minds that it take minimal reasorces to start a pilot program.
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Old 04-08-07, 05:52 PM   #19
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Hi all, long time lurker chiming in. In addition to the good comments already posted I will offer that I don't think that it would take much selling at all to get this going. What you have prepared is sufficient and should really be more than you need. I'll bet it doesn't take much to convince them. Good luck with it.

Many private companies are doing everything they can to get their employees in better shape: mine has sponsored gym memberships, weight-loss challenges (with $$$ prizes), installed a basketball half-court, walking programs, stop-smoking programs are huge, healthy foods, and more. I'll bet that your employer has already done things too. I have no doubt that they would install a bike parking area in the employees needed one. Maybe you could even facilitate a commuter group and/or organize a company team for charity/fun rides.

It's not much to imaging a hospital providing whatever you need. They could keep it simple and under the radar or turn it into a pilot program which other hospitals would follow. It's just a great idea.
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Old 04-10-07, 07:45 PM   #20
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Hey guys these are great ideas. Keep them coming. I now realize this could be a reference to assist others and encourage people to speakout at their workplace. Who knows, if I could get this rolling it might get the cityfathers of this town to change their attitude towards the cycling atmosphere. Next we might have an unofficial Bike Forum National convention here! Man I dream big! Oh well. win the workplace battle first then the cycling world ya.
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Old 04-10-07, 07:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
Dependability, less lost time due to healthy lifestyle (look for studies)
Able to get to work under adverse conditions that would stop cars


Aaron

Edit in Italics... PBC (posting before coffee)
Traffic is about the only adverse condition that would stop cars here...and it frequently does. That's one of the reasons I love commuting by bike so much.

Nothing brings a smile to my face quite like riding past a couple miles of parked cars with angry motorists behind the wheel...idling away their lives.
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Old 04-10-07, 07:53 PM   #22
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I've known a lot of people who were paying for gym memberships. I don't know many people who have consistently made use of their gym memberships.
People in the USA know that exercise is important, and certainly that's true of your average hospital employee. But when it comes to actually getting the exercise, it's just plain easier to find the time and motivation if your mode of exercise brings you to work. For a lot of people, I think the trouble with getting exercise when you're not going from one place to another is not that it's impossible for them to find time. It's just, it isn't particularly easy to find time for exercise, and riding stationary bikes, stairmasters, and such isn't all that much fun.

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Old 04-10-07, 08:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o-dog
if your company cares at all about their public image, maybe point out that being seen as a "green" company is very good PR
+1 -- really, when you think about it, with the energy crunch only to get worse in the years to come and throw in the whole climate change issue -- does there really need to be any other reason to promote it other than it simply makes good environmental sense?
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Old 04-23-07, 12:36 PM   #24
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I really liked unkchuk's map idea. It probably won't take much though, since a hospital should be more receptive to something health-oriented than your average workplace. At least one would hope so.

If you have a specific area in mind that seems perfect for the bike repository, you might want to mention it, that way it's one less thing they would have to worry about. Although they may want to pick the spot themselves of course.

Good luck and be sure to let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-23-07, 01:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I've known a lot of people who were paying for gym memberships. I don't know many people who have consistently made use of their gym memberships.
People in the USA know that exercise is important, and certainly that's true of your average hospital employee. But when it comes to actually getting the exercise, it's just plain easier to find the time and motivation if your mode of exercise brings you to work. For a lot of people, I think the trouble with getting exercise when you're not going from one place to another is not that it's impossible for them to find time. It's just, it isn't particularly easy to find time for exercise, and riding stationary bikes, stairmasters, and such isn't all that much fun.

Strangely enough... I averaged at least 10 hours per week in the gym before I started bicycle commuting. I am actually in considerably worse shape now, and have gained a decent amount of weight. I still have a gym membership, I just can't get motivated to use it anymore. I might be one of the few people who are in worse shape because of cycling.
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