On a Roll with Bike Month
Every morning, riders converge on the All Star offices from points ranging from Sammamish to Beacon Hill, Lake City to West Seattle. We take a do-what-you-can approach: Some cyclists are in the saddle each day, some a few times a month, and others adjust their bike commutes to family schedules.
All Star has sponsored a Bike to Work team for at least eight years running. This time around, the company is offering $75 Amex gift certificates to the three new riders who suit up for the most days in May. “We as a company have a commitment to bettering the community,” says general counsel Dave Davis. “Our Bike to Work team sponsorship is an expression of that.”
The team also provided the impetus for newer riders like Courtney Crooks to kick-start their bike commuting habit. “It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a couple years,” says the sales account manager. “Getting advice and encouragement from everybody made it easier.”
Although she was a regular cyclist back in L.A., she hadn’t ventured out much in Seattle. The city’s congested traffic and hilly topography gave her pause, as did a chilly attitude from the greater biking community.
But, after 13 round trips from her home in Whittier Heights, she’s seen how the benefits of bike commuting outweigh the hassles. Chief among her reasons for riding? She no longer has to sit in a car, and the workout kills two birds with one stone. (No more driving to the gym.) She’s even found some empathy for aloof-seeming cyclists: “I get cranky on Seattle’s hills, too!”
Account manager Krystal Freitas is returning to the Bike to Work team for the second year. A self-described casual rider who values safety over speed, she didn’t join the team in hopes of winning a gift certificate. “It was moreso that I joined a team and wanted to contribute,” says Krystal.
What else keeps All Stars on their two-wheeled steeds?
- “It’s joyful.” That’s Dave Davis, who’s been bike commuting since 2000. He cites the happy cocktail of adrenaline and endorphins as a major motivation for regular riding. He also raves about biking as a head-clearing way to start and end the work day.
- It’s a fun, flexible workout – Depending on the route you choose and the speed at which you pedal, a bike ride can be as difficult or as relaxed as you like. Don’t feel like biking one way? All Stars can hop on a bus with their company-provided ORCA pass.
- Financial savings – Cycling is much cheaper than paying for gas and parking. All Star provides free bike storage for bikes, plus a locker room and showers for riders.
- “The world moves faster around you,” says SEM channel manager Serge Bondar, who grooves on the constantly changing scenery and the sense of acceleration he gets on a bike. Like Dave, he relies on the twice-daily commute to clear his mind, unplug and decompress.
- Sense of accomplishment – If nothing else goes the way you planned, you can always point to your bike commute as a “win” for the day.
“It’s been fantastic,” says team captain Scott Harrison of Bike Month. “Everyone is stepping up, and there are lots of new bikers. Compared to eight years ago, I’m really impressed by the amount of people biking in Seattle.”
Curious about bike commuting but haven’t taken the plunge? Ask any All Star cyclist for help in finding the bike lane to happiness.