It’s obvious that InterWorks loves technology, but you may not know that we love mechanical devices of a different nature: bicycles. InterWorks has a bad case of bike fever. Want the proof? Recently, the League of American Bicyclists named InterWorks a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business! InterWorks joins 73 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses across the U.S. to become one of 1,132 Bicycle Friendly Businesses in total. All the bike nuts at InterWorks are pretty excited about the award and honored to be recognized in such a way.
What Makes a Bicycle Friendly Business?
To determine whether a business is worthy of recognition, the League of American Bicyclists looks at four different categories: encouragement, engineering, education and evaluation/planning.
Encouragement includes anything that builds the cycling culture within a business, be it financial incentive to commute, organized staff rides or involvement with cycling advocacy groups.
Engineering is a rather broad category that includes provision of shared bikes, access to secure bike parking or storage, access to shower and changing facilities, provision of tools and work stands, and general commutability to the workplace by way of bike trails or bike-friendly roads.
Education constitutes a business’s efforts towards providing bike-related education towards its employees. This can occur via seminars, workshops or internal forums where employees can discuss bike-related subjects.
Evaluation & planning refers to a business’s goal tracking endeavors as well as the coordination of bike-related events by an appointed bike coordinator. Also considered are a business’s goals to build their cycling culture further.
How We Do It at InterWorks
Each Bicycle Friendly Business does things a little differently, and we earned our Silver designation due to a number of reasons. That said, it’s definitely been a process.
“A few years ago, just a few of us rode to work. I leaned my bike against the wall of the lobby, making some nasty tire marks, occasionally finding my bike laying on the ground. Soon after, bike racks were installed in the lobby, some sweet cycling wall graphics marked designated parking and more folks found cycling to be a good way to commute.”
– Scott Matlock, Systems Engineer
Above: A great turnout from last year’s National Bike to Work Week in Stillwater.
One employee in particular, Brian Bickell, dropped an incredible amount of weight in a matter of months after picking up cycling (as explained in this post), which greatly inspired others to hop on a bike. With everyone buzzing about cycling, it soon became apparent that we should do some sort of group event. That’s where Brian took point:
“After I bought a bike, I really got into it. I was looking around for events to ride in when I found OK Freewheel. I asked a few colleagues what they thought about riding across Oklahoma, and then I brought it to Behfar. I never expected we’d have got 15 InterWorkers to ride last year. It was an amazing time with my colleagues.”
– Brian Bickell, Principal Consultant
InterWorks completely sponsored InterWorkers who wanted to do OK Freewheel. That means we paid for registration, provided support, created customized InterWorks kits and even provided a PTO match for participants! The event turned out to be such a success that it has since inspired even more InterWorkers to take up cycling.
Now, cyclists at InterWorks have internal hobby forums (specifically Slack channels) to discuss cycling and to coordinate new group rides/events. So far, the word is that we’ll have double the numbers for OK Freewheel this year – a true testament to our growing bike culture.
Above: Team InterWorks posing at the finish line of OK Freewheel 2015.
InterWorks Dedication to a Healthy Workplace
From the surface, it may seem like InterWorks is dedicated exclusively to cycling. The truth is that we support all of our employees’ health initiatives. Outside of cycling, we offer gym memberships to all of our employees, provide healthy snack options, regularly do “Work Week Challenges” among InterWorks employees with Fitbits and have sponsored employees in other events like the Warrior Dash. The reason we’ve chosen to emphasize our cycling culture specifically is because we want to align ourselves with the passion that so many InterWorkers hold dear.
“As a lifelong cyclist, I benefit daily from InterWorks valuing the tangible and intangible aspects of riding a bike. These changes were in no small part due to the support of this company and the culture it represents. More than just corporate lip service, we’ve seen the real effects of these values. InterWorks is an incredible place for a cyclist to work and clearly deserves the honor of being recognized by the League of American Bicyclists.”
– Dalton Parsons, Chief Marketing Officer