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How would you spend $5,000?

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How would you spend $5,000?

Old 06-10-11, 01:40 PM
  #51  
exile
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
I wouldn't bother with doing all the numbers. I wouldn't ask either. I mean democracy and all is great but people will start arguing and nit-picking and coming up with all the craziest ideas and it'll be just a waste of time. And I really doubt anyone will question the usefulness of showers, lockers and bike parking. Really, I can't imagine that any person genuinely interested in riding to work would question the wisdom of having showers, lockers and secure bike parking ahead of any other amenities. This will benefit the widest range of bike commuters.
While I understand your point Adam (and a lot of others regarding showers & parking) and don't necessarily disagree, but a lot of our POV's are coming from already committed commuters (and some who need to be ).

I would really like to know what perceived obstacles the non-committed riders have. Perhaps they would like information about choosing a bike, fixing a bike, or riding with traffic. Maybe something along the lines of bringing in a mechanic, or an excursion to a local Coop or LBS to go over bikes and accessories. Basically things most of us take for granted now .

While focus groups may not work (depending on the numbers), the OP can put together a questionnaire and list items like:
1.showers,
2. parking,
3. accessories,
4. information...etc, etc, etc.

And have employees respond on something like a 5 pt. likert scale the importance and/or frequency. A space for Other suggestions could also be included.

Those with the highest or lowest scores (depending on scoring) would help rank the order of importance and serve as a starting point for how to manage the grant.
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Old 06-10-11, 01:48 PM
  #52  
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Wow this community of commuters is the best thing since sliced bread!

Little bit more background on our situation. - We currently do have good secure bicycle parking right next to the building enterance door. However, it is not covered. Those of us with bicycle worth over 50 dollars in value don't want our bike baking in the sun all day or worse yet rained on. We are looking at options to either use our grant money to help create a rain shelter or possibly move the bike parking to other areas that are covered. We will see how our management responds.
For showers, we do have showers located at another office building across the street from our main office building. Lockers however are limited. We'll probably push for a better locker situation there. Ideally, it would be nice to have the shower and locker amenities right at our main office building, but like most midwestern American companies, life revolves around the automobile and the ability to live 15+ miles from the office. Its the American way.
I'm not a big fan of bribing people to commute to work with gift cards and cash...however I think others on our comittee want to go down that route. Its a worthless band-aid approach in my opinion.

**Someone mentioned - emergency ride home options -- we have pool cars at work for employees to take on business trips and to other work sites within our company. We plan to draft a policy to our board to allow bike commuters the opporunity when available for employess to take a company car and their bike home if needed. Hopefully it works.

**We're also considering loaner bikes for lunch commutes. We're discussing issues with sizing and helmets, etc. Its on the agenda.

**Bike buddys ---This is a FREE option to explore! Myself and others are willing to create a bulliten board or internet portal where people can post when and where they will be biking from to allow others to join in. I've found that many people are just scared of where to go and how to get there. Having someone to go with might help others and promote advocacy.

Thank you all for your suggestions and input. It has helped tremendously.
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Old 06-10-11, 02:50 PM
  #53  
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I work for a large company that has showers, and lockers are a problem here, too. But that shouldn't be a deal killer for commuters if they are educated in how to work with it. depending on the size of the locker there usually isn't much room in one to hang and dry a towel, shorts and a shirt anyway. Keeping clothes to change into at the desk on a hangar or in a file cabinet is an option, too.
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Old 06-10-11, 03:48 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by B Piddy View Post
We currently do have good secure bicycle parking right next to the building enterance door. However, it is not covered. Those of us with bicycle worth over 50 dollars in value don't want our bike baking in the sun all day or worse yet rained on.
My company is in the process of building covered parking with solar panels on top. You might be able to find additional sources of money if you explore this option for covering your existing bike parking. Personally, I've never seen what the big deal is. A lot of the other bike commuters at my company beg for more covered parking every chance they get, but I'm happy to leave my bike sitting out in the rain all day. My theory is that it washes off some of the road grime it collected on the way in.

Lockers, on the other hand, are a pet peeve of mine. We've got a nice bank of day-use lockers, but they are poorly ventilated (like typical gym lockers) so I hang my wet clothes there in the morning and they are still wet in the afternoon. If we were getting new lockers, I'd lobby for the kind with the loose metal mesh front.
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Old 06-13-11, 07:48 PM
  #55  
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The bike trail starts at my front door and ends about 300 yards from the entrance of my job. It's a garden all the way and I never see 3 people on it coming or going. They let me part my bike in my office (my heroes on that one) and I have a filing cabinet that is now a locker. I have a Superstand and a pump and all the tools I need for minor repairs and flats. I ride to work in swim trunk type shorts with a liner in them; clean undies in one of the deep pockets. I ride right past my bank and a Starbucks on the way in as well as several eats if I desire. The ride is uphill in the AM but a bone dry 75 degrees on days that it is 100 on the commute home....but downhill all the way in the heat. Alas, no showers but we are casual dress and my job. With everything going for me I can't let the shower thing stop me. Wet Ones and a rinsed face before the rest come to work. Ya know what they say, there's a big difference between old dirt and new dirt. I'm a new commuter but I am so addicted that I'm going to see if I can push this thing all the way through the summer, even when it's 90 at sunup. I live in Las Vegas. We'll see.
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Old 06-17-11, 02:59 AM
  #56  
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Hey Igo,
Welcome to the forum.


The biggest obstacle for me is the Strip (Las Vegas Blvd). The RTC maps say I should be safe crossing on Desert Inn, but with 50+ mph traffic and 1 in 5 drivers being legally drunk (statistic courtesy of LVPD) during the time I'd be heading home that seems suicidal. I haven't found any reasonable route south of Sahara or north of Russell*, either of which would extend my 13 mile (one way) commute to around 20 miles.

* Routes near Sahara or Russell would not be on major streets.
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Old 06-17-11, 04:03 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by B Piddy View Post
Wow this community of commuters is the best thing since sliced bread!

Little bit more background on our situation. - We currently do have good secure bicycle parking right next to the building enterance door. However, it is not covered. Those of us with bicycle worth over 50 dollars in value don't want our bike baking in the sun all day or worse yet rained on. We are looking at options to either use our grant money to help create a rain shelter or possibly move the bike parking to other areas that are covered. We will see how our management responds.

...

**We're also considering loaner bikes for lunch commutes. We're discussing issues with sizing and helmets, etc. Its on the agenda.
Secure bike parking should be inaccessible to the public; the front door is rarely secure.
Ideally you want a covered location not visible from the street, with restricted access (employees only), and with video surveillance.

For bike sizing with a wide range of different size people you have a few options:

You can try for a large number of bikes of different sizes, but I really can't recommend spending the money on 50 beaters.

You can get bikes that fit the mode (largest single grouping).

Or you can try for highly adjustable bikes in three sizes, and hope people can manage the adjustments, or have someone who can make the adjustments checking the bikes out to employees.



Step-thru frames ("women's bikes") are very useful for fitting bikes to the widest range of riders, but many men and some women are averse to riding these bikes (and if you suggest security officers should ride them, both for sizing and safety, they'll look at you like you just grew a third arm).
The company I work for has a fleet of patrol bikes. All entry level mountain bikes, medium (17" to 18") frames, compact geometry. I hope your company does better.
Given the aversion to stem-thru frames compact geometry is a good idea. And 17" frames (with slack angles/more upright riding position) with long seat post will likely do a fair job of accommodating the mode, but (depending on the size and shape of your coworkers) you may want to try for 2+ 12" to 15" frame 26" wheel bikes (best to keep the same wheel size for all) and 2+ 19" to 22" frame bikes.
Wide slicks tend to work best (in my experience) for inexperienced commuters.
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Old 06-17-11, 04:11 AM
  #58  
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Office Space

Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; 'cause chicks dig dudes with money.
Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well, the type of chicks that'd double up on a dude like me do.
Peter Gibbons: Good point.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:24 AM
  #59  
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I agree with showers, and bike parking.

I am fortunate that I have a safe place to keep my bike (I don't even bring a lock - it is keycard secured with only a subset of employees having access, on the 9th floor, and with security cameras I have web access to), but unfortunate in that I have to do the wet wipes shower where I am now. At some previous work locations I've had both.

$5000 is a good amount though so having a few cheaper loaner bikes isn't a bad idea either. But - with loaner bikes - unless the riding is < 2 miles (or it's really flat), people will get discouraged easier than if they invest in their own bike that's sized correctly, in colours they picked, suits their style, doesn't weigh a ton, etc.
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