Davin recently kicked off K15t's first official Bike to Work Day. We'll talk a little bit about why and how this bike nerd initiated what looks likely to be a recurring event.
Laura: "Davin, why did you want to organize a bike to work day?"
Davin: "As someone who's been into bikes for a long time, I've been happy to see the global cycling movement, of which Bike to Work Day is a part, gain traction over the years. K15t already had a strong core group of bike-to-workers before I came to the company, and what really motivated me to organize this event was the prospect of giving occasional riders or those thinking about riding to work an opportunity to try it out in a supportive setting. Our group of regulars meant that we could give advice and provide company to newbies and curious colleagues. All in all, I thought it would be a great opportunity to grow our transportation cycling community."
A short history
Transportation cycling events have been taking place all around the world for a very long time. But in 1956 the Bicycle Institute of America designated the month of May as "American Bicycle Month" and today the renamed League of American Bicyclists annually declares one day as "Bike to Work Day." Of course, other countries also host bike to work or school days, yet curiously, most of them also seem to be scheduled in May. A possible reason is that in many places the weather is warm enough, but not too hot yet. Strava, an activity tracker and social network for athletes, started a global Bike to Work day in 2016, issuing a challenge to all members. 150,000 people participated in 2017.
Laura: "Tell us a little bit about how and what you planned."
Davin: "I wanted to determine three different meet-up points around the city of Stuttgart where people could join together in the morning for their pedal in. That way experienced bicyclists would accompany new riders and no one would have to ride to work on their own. To figure out these three points and to inform anyone who was interested I created a Confluence page which contained meeting times, participants with their starting locations, and a note about the rewards for those who joined. All that the others needed to do was add their name to participate, and vote for a meeting point. It worked out great."
Stories from the road
K15t Software's bike to work day was so well received that it inspired some (shoutout, Tom!) to actually start biking to work on a daily basis.
"I'd been considering cycling to work for months, but always found an excuse not to. Bike to Work Day gave me the final push I needed, and now I'm a total convert!"
– Tom, Technical Content Developer
Others, like Matthias, thought it was so worthwhile that he didn't mind doing his first ride – at 20km (one way, mind you). Support from long time regulars included our co-founder and CEO Stefan, who's been biking to work since K15t began, and Director of Engineering Christoffer, who does his 11km each way rain or shine – even in the dead of winter.
Davin: "All in all, I'm really happy with the way bike to work day turned out. People had fun and some even made it a habit. Couldn't really ask for more, right?"
A rewarding experience
To everyone's delight, all those who participated were not just rewarded with exercise and fresh air, but a special T-shirt too. It's become a bit of a challenge within the company now. Anyone who wants this beautiful T-Shirt and to join the circle of pedalers needs to get on their bike first. Ready?