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  1. #1
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    Bicycles and and tech companies

    I'm trying to convince my boss to convince his boss to enable me to commute to work by bike, it would be helpful if you could post some stories or pictures of silicon valley type companies with bikes somewhere (I remember seeing once the entrance to Facebook with a bunch of bicycles parked)

    See the place where I started working is a tech company and they're trying (and in more than one way succeeding) to emulate that silicon valley start-up spirit (in eastern europe). They moved into a new building, with a gym, ping pong tables, olive trees, bright white furniture and large windows etc. but they really missed the bike commuting part of it, they have some reservations about it, so I'm trying to appeal to them with social proof, I imagine a bunch of people commute with bikes in those types of companies.

    so, if you've got something, help a fellow cyclist out

  2. #2
    Senior Member kelsodeez's Avatar
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    Last edited by kelsodeez; 02-17-14 at 07:07 PM.

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    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    Wait, why does your manager tell you how you can/cannot commute to work?
    Jesse

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    Quote Originally Posted by JReade View Post
    Wait, why does your manager tell you how you can/cannot commute to work?
    a manager saying no bike commuters (usually due to a "professional" office) is not new... however, a tech company doing that is new... most tech companies are a bit more tolerant of idiosyncrasies in their employees...

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    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by e0richt View Post
    a manager saying no bike commuters (usually due to a "professional" office) is not new... however, a tech company doing that is new... most tech companies are a bit more tolerant of idiosyncrasies in their employees...
    I've never had that, nor heard of it happening before. I've had companies ask about "reliable transportation" before, but never have I had someone say "You need to drive a car to work" What about the bus? Can the OP take the bus to work?
    Jesse

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    Quote Originally Posted by JReade View Post
    I've never had that, nor heard of it happening before. I've had companies ask about "reliable transportation" before, but never have I had someone say "You need to drive a car to work" What about the bus? Can the OP take the bus to work?
    well, there was another guy that posted about having to arrive at work in a suit / tie and the normal commute was something along the lines of 10 miles... he was trying to figure away to get around that situation by either joining a local gym or using the facilities of a nearby fast food restaurant... so no, Im sure the guy didn't say you can't ride your bicycle to work, just have to arrive "professionally dressed" or something like that...

  7. #7
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Google is into it in a big way.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamtivek View Post
    I'm trying to convince my boss to convince his boss to enable me to commute to work by bike.....
    I am retired now. But with over 40 years of work history behind me my advice is to pick your battles well (meaning better). And don't defecate where you eat.

    Not that I really enjoyed much of my work over the years... I didn't. If your having a great time at work and want to top your cake [job] with cycling icing... you're doing better than I ever did.

    But I always found it best to separate play from work. Work hard... play hard.... but never at the same time in the same place. I think you are absolutely correct that new paradigms and ways to work have yet to be found. BUT... unless.... that is YOUR position at your place of employment.... you have your noise in someone else's business. And in most places.... that "someone else" is in the human resources department has the power to hire, fire, and promote.

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Your responsibility is to arrive at work on time as promised... how you get there is your choice.

  10. #10
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    The competition for tech talent is fierce. I can't imagine a tech company that doesn't allow bike commuting would be able to hire anyone good. Even if prospective employees don't bike, seeing that it's not allowed it is a sign of a bad work culture.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    I am retired now. But with over 40 years of work history behind me my advice is to pick your battles well (meaning better). And don't defecate where you eat.

    Not that I really enjoyed much of my work over the years... I didn't. If your having a great time at work and want to top your cake [job] with cycling icing... you're doing better than I ever did.

    But I always found it best to separate play from work. Work hard... play hard.... but never at the same time in the same place. I think you are absolutely correct that new paradigms and ways to work have yet to be found. BUT... unless.... that is YOUR position at your place of employment.... you have your noise in someone else's business. And in most places.... that "someone else" is in the human resources department has the power to hire, fire, and promote.
    I'm sure on some level you are correct. But I have to say companies unable to see how employees cycling to work is good for morale, improves the health of its employees, and costs the companies little to nothing, due to the fact that some hr manager can't hear or respect the needs of its employees is probably doomed to fail without government intervention. I also have a right to commute how I see fit. Cow towing to some bs rule about arriving in a suit over ones civil rights ruins this country in my opinion.

    ride to work in a crappy business suit. Then change into a good one.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzgeek79 View Post
    ........ the fact that some hr manager can't hear or respect the needs of its employees is probably doomed to fail without government intervention.
    I don't know if you meant that as humor or not. I got a chuckle out of it ether way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamtivek View Post
    I'm trying to convince my boss to convince his boss to enable me to commute to work by bike, it would be helpful if you could post some stories or pictures of silicon valley type companies with bikes somewhere (I remember seeing once the entrance to Facebook with a bunch of bicycles parked)
    I'm responsible for the data path at a Silicon Valley enterprise Software as a Service backup startup. In a recent press release we reported 247% year-over-year growth and 99% customer retention.

    http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nach...ise-gr-256.htm

    10-15% of us commute by bicycle at least some of the time, other people just ride recreationally starting at the office, we have showers, we have company cycling jerseys, and just added a repair stand.

    Engineers, support people, and marketing people all riding helps with the esprit de corps.

    I find the mental white space provided by cycling conducive to figuring out how to crush our competition enroute to a billion dollar market cap, like designing my patent-pending WAN optimization technology which lets us serve larger more profitable customers.

    Here's our support manager taking a break to help a customer on a weekly ride with engineers standing by in case help is needed

    http://www.zetta.net/blog/backup-and...ked/#more-4453

    support-blog-post-254x300.jpg
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 02-22-14 at 07:56 PM.

  14. #14
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    I haven't seem OP chime in again to clarify, but I think you're missing a distinction between "I want my work to let me bike-commute" (which OP didn't say), and "I want my work to enable me to bike-commute", i.e. provide amenities like a secure bike-rack or indoor bike storage, shower/locker, financial incentive, etc.

  15. #15
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I was military for 24yrs,the last 6.5 I rode a bike to work. I had to be in uniform and conform to regulations,in a professional IT environment,and it was never an issue. In fact,our inclement weather emergency plan was me putting the studded tires on the Safari and trekking into work,while the folks with 4WD who lived in the burbs stayed home.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  16. #16
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I am the only one at my company (Small medical devices company~50 employees) I get a lot of comments, from every one from assembly workers to management. The comments are mostly positive, though I am sure there is some snickering behind my back. I have also lost about forty pounds since starting there, and most of the comments lately involve that aspect.

    The area I work in has a large number of bio-tech companies, including Edwards Scientific, and Alergan. I ride a commuter train. The Los Angeles Metrolink has a car with the lower deck dedicated to bikes on the train I catch in the afternoon. Most of the regulars are employees in high tech. Two are coworkers at a company making cryogenic pumps, one for Alergan, another for Western Digital. There are two RN's (both men), and a new rider who is a Nurse Practitioner(one of the few women). A couple are blue collar types.

    I see a lot of guys commuting by bike on my daily commute. In this area, most are roadies, but that is consistent with the demographic of the area. The town I live in has more of a mix of tech workers, and hourly workers. There are more economy bikes as a result.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  17. #17
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    I work for a very large and well known company (not necessarily a tech company). Not only do they support bike commuting but they also give me $2 a day for each day I ride my bike as incentive. I believe it's part of the company's over all "green" initiative and makes the company look good to the public since environmentalism is a hot public topic these days.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  18. #18
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    I work for a small-ish tech "startup" in San Francisco SOMA/Southbeach district that is VERY friendly to bike commuting. We have a large bike rack in the middle of our office and a shower for those with longer commute. If you look around this area of San Francisco, a large % of the tech companies encourage bike commuting with secure bike storage indoors. Many of these cater to people commuting within San Francisco so don't offer a shower, but some like mine do offer a shower. I would say 10-15% of the people here bike commute on a given day. Nice summer days could be as high as 25%.

    I honestly think many companies in this part of SF would have trouble recruiting someone if they didn't allow bringing the bike inside or offer secure storage. Bike commuting is becoming very popular.

    A note about the big silicon valley guys like Facebook and Google - the big use for bikes there are company owned bikes for getting around their massive campuses. Unfortunately these massive campuses are not near where a majority of the employees live so a much smaller % of employees actually bike to work, though if they do they have bike storage and showers, etc.

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    It's me the OP, sorry for the delay.

    To clarify, it's not like it's explicitly forbidden for me to commute to work, it's just that we wouldn't know exactly how to handle it. It's a new building... we would have to try and figure out where to store the bike, and then what if a bunch of other people decide to follow my example, that would mean a bunch of bikes.... what's the best entrance to use to get to the showers without necessarily going through the whole building in bike gear (it would be a 12 mile commute for me). Those types of questions have to be solved...just a matter of establishing some kind of a procedure

    As I said it's really a start-up kind of atmosphere, it's not like I'm trying to battle corporate bureaucracy or anything, it's just that the management never really considered someone would cycle to work...it just wasn't on their minds because they're not into it themselves, and there's no strong cycling culture here like in some places in US or Europe...so it never occurred to them...

    On the other hand, I don't want to be too much of a nuisance myself by insisting on it. There's many other things they have to deal with as it is. So what I'm trying to do is to slowly bring them to consider and understand my perspective, to understand why a bunch of people cycling to work would really be good, and the best way to do it is to appeal to their silicon valley self-image.

    In that sense, mstraus, rms13, commutecomando, and Drew, thanks for your stories. I'll forward the digest to my boss

  20. #20
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    I haven't seem OP chime in again to clarify, but I think you're missing a distinction between "I want my work to let me bike-commute" (which OP didn't say), and "I want my work to enable me to bike-commute", i.e. provide amenities like a secure bike-rack or indoor bike storage, shower/locker, financial incentive, etc.
    That's exactly what I was thinking as I read through the thread to get to the end.

    Now that the OP is back it seems as if you were right.

    I think the OP needs to search the forum for a thread discussing facilities at your workplace that help accommodate bike riders (racks & storage, security and changing/locker rooms). That would give them ideas that they could use to incorporate into the new building the company they have just moved into. Bosshoss would be a lot more receptive if the OP approached him with a prepared plan for bike commuters needing nothing except approval.

    Sorry, I can't be much help. I lock mine on the back side of the dumpsters inside the wooden fence that hides them from public view. Out of sight/out of mind being my first security defense.

    Perhaps is someone can remember a specific post along the facilities line it would help the OP.
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  21. #21
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    apple is still into it… they encourage it for sure.

    My company, not so much. They try but with only 3 bike lockers they are not serious about it.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
    I think the OP needs to search the forum for a thread discussing facilities at your workplace that help accommodate bike riders (racks & storage, security and changing/locker rooms). That would give them ideas that they could use to incorporate into the new building the company they have just moved into. Bosshoss would be a lot more receptive if the OP approached him with a prepared plan for bike commuters needing nothing except approval.

    Sorry, I can't be much help. I lock mine on the back side of the dumpsters inside the wooden fence that hides them from public view. Out of sight/out of mind being my first security defense.

    Perhaps is someone can remember a specific post along the facilities line it would help the OP.
    Since the thrust of this thread is about provision of facilities for commuters, not just limited to the high tech industry, I have previously posted:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    …My hospital is an ideal destination for a cycle commuter. I bring the bike inside near my office, and have a place to hang my cycling clothes and a table fan to dry them off. For the most part I wear surgical scrubs all day so I don't necessarily have to clean off on arrival (I shower at home before the ride). I do have shower facilities though, as well as a coffee shop and cafeteria on site. Finally, almost all my personal service needs like barber shop, dentist, dry-cleaner/tailor, supermarket and drugstore, and good take-out restaurants are all within walking distance, or a short hop on the bike.
    See also this concurrent thread on the Commuter Forum, Does your place of business love you as much as mine does me? with this post about another front-runner for Best Commute Award:

    Quote Originally Posted by ubringliten View Post
    My workplace has all the amenities that any bike commuter would love. First of all, it rewards us $6 one way and $12 round trip. It pays for my lunch. We have bike cages with floor pumps in every parking garage, and bike racks in every staircase lobby. We also have showers and lockers. We also have free bike-shares on campus and best of all, we have a bicycle club at work. I am that much loved by my company. =)

  23. #23
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jim. That's the sort of info that I think will help. I just don't follow those threads to know of them.

    Anyone else????
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
    Thanks, Jim. That's the sort of info that I think will help. I just don't follow those threads to know of them.
    Thanks for your reply. I have posted to another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Jim from Boston, what you say makes sense…Other people can use other plans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    Thanks for your reply and it prompted some introspection. I post about commuting from the point of view of a nearly perfect bicycle commuting situation. Besides the excellent storage facilities at work, I have nearby commuter rail stations at both the beginning and endpoints of my route...

    Frequently when acquaintances expressed dismay at my relatively safe, residential and light commercial routes in the reverse commute direction of traffic, I cite the stories of other BF subscribers riding two lane roads with no shoulders, and 55 mph speed limits.

  25. #25
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamtivek View Post
    ...and then what if a bunch of other people decide to follow my example, that would mean a bunch of bikes....
    In my experience, that is highly unlikely.
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