The Cadmus Group, a Gold Level Champion gives top priority to work-life balance and employee health and wellness. The company fosters an active work culture and encourages employees to use public transit and bike to work. The company also offers a pre-tax transit benefit and a $100 annual bike subsidy. The building-provided secure bike parking and shower facility makes biking a desirable choice for employees. Ava is an Analyst with the Environmental Programs Group at Cadmus and has been biking to work regularly. She shares with us how it all started.
Ava’s Bike Commute
For the past five years I have been living a carfree life, enjoying my 5-mile round trip to work on my bike. I believe in safety first and ride along the Custis trail and bike lanes in DC and Arlington.
Why I bike to work
Living off-campus my last two years of college, I realized that biking was the quickest and most sustainable way for me to get to class and work. Strapping my helmet on while on my way out the door became an unshakable habit, and I started counting on my morning bike ride as a way to clear my head before beginning the day.
I was hired by Cadmus after graduating in 2016 and, once introduced to the company’s bike-friendly culture, decided that biking could continue to be my primary mode of transportation. Not only does Cadmus have a place for me to store my bike indoors—a must for me, to prevent both weather damage and theft—but they also provide an annual bike subsidy that I can use to tune-up the bike and purchase supplemental equipment, like a new helmet. These benefits eliminate several potential excuses I could use to avoid biking and reaffirm my decision to bike to work every day.
After breaking my arm during a nasty fall last winter, I realized that biking in inclement weather conditions is unadvisable. Now, I take the Metro or walk to work when rain, ice, or snow could prevent me from getting there safely.
Before deciding to bike to work, make sure you have the proper equipment. Always be on high alert for cars, buses, other cyclists and pedestrians. I predominately rely on dedicated bike lanes to minimize the risk of accidents. There are several pieces of equipment I use to make sure I’m riding as safely as possible to protect myself and others:
- If you don’t own a helmet, do not get on a bike. Too often, I see people putting themselves at unnecessary risk of injury by failing to wear a helmet while cycling.
- Make sure you have working bike lights, so you can see and be seen at all hours of the day and night. I recently purchased USB-rechargeable lights, and they work perfectly. They’re incredibly bright, and I don’t have to purchase replacement batteries anymore!
- Lastly, a simple bell for your bike works wonders for alerting fellow cyclists and pedestrians that you are approaching.
These three basic pieces of cycling equipment will ensure that you and others can commute to work and back as safely as possible.
Cultivate a Healthy and Active Work Culture
Small healthy habits go a long way. A short bike ride to work or a short walk from transit keeps employees productive and focused. Participation in events like Bike to Work Day and National Walking Day can encourage employees to change their commute habits. ATP can assist you with hosting events like bike safety workshops and transit information events to help your employees with a new active commute option.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com for Arlington Transportation Partners