Taking one car off the roads of Silicon Valley

dollarbin

New Member
Greetings EBR forum,

After some light lurking while researching a new Electric Bike purchase I'm taking the plunge into the forum. When my company moved from Menlo Park to Newark, my commute from Mountain View roughly doubled from 7 to about 15 miles (11 to 23 km). It's a pretty flat ride, but it's hard to carve out enough time to ride my 1991 Gary Fisher Paragon MTB round trip that far each day. Plus the headwind on the Dumbarton westbound in the afternoons can be a real drag. Given my busy schedule and lack of public transit options I found myself more often than not in a single occupant vehicle clogging up the freeways and crapping up the air.

After some brainstorming it occurred to me to look into an electric bike as an alternative to driving. I was not prepared for how amazing electric bikes have become, it's a really viable alternative to driving. I rented a demo Specialized 2018 Turbo Vado 3.0 and had an absolute blast on my commute, less than an hour each way and I'm not a puddle when I get to work. I will post a thread in the "Help Choosing an Ebike" to get more input on what to purchase.

In addition to market research for a personal bike purchase, I am spearheading an initiative at my company to encourage people to ditch their cars in favor of Ebikes. So far we have a commitment to providing secure parking and charging, plus a milage credit for those who don't drive (like carpools) and paid maintenance for equipment. We also want to get people to try out electric bikes so we'll reimburse a bike rental so people can try out their actual commute. If anybody knows of any California programs to further encourage Ebike use, please let me know so we can take advantage of it and get more or my coworkers out of their cars and onto bikes.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
... In addition to market research for a personal bike purchase, I am spearheading an initiative at my company to encourage people to ditch their cars in favor of Ebikes. So far we have a commitment to providing secure parking and charging, plus a milage credit for those who don't drive (like carpools) and paid maintenance for equipment...
That is so cool and I'm envious. I work for a large outfit in a much less progressive part of the country (in car country). My mention of e-bike commuting to my coworkers is usually met with confused looks. They either can't even picture it (they think I'm on some sort of scooter) or they just think me crazy. Some, who don't even ride bikes for exercise or leisure, still claim I'm cheating (they can say that straight-faced whilst commuting from distant suburbs in their SUVs). Our company rents parking facilities and bike parking is not provided inside those facilities (I have to lock up outside in the street). Before I bought my first e-bike, I made 3 attempts to contact the parking garage management to ask for a place to lock my bike inside (where I already had a parking space paid for by my company). They wouldn't even return my messages. The first time I commuted, I locked my bike to a pole inside the garage and the garage attendant chased me down on the way out to tell me I couldn't bring a bike inside. I said "but I park my car here and this is my parking pass. What does it matter if I ride a bike instead of driving my car - can't I still park here?...". The answer was "no". Then I read of the bike-friendliness of other parts of the country and I'm envious. I applaud you for your initiative.
 

ilanarama

Member
That's a great thing to do - ebikes are a wonderful alternative to cars, especially in places where there's existing bicycling infrastructure and decent weather. Plus, unlike electric cars, they take up less parking, take up less room on the road, and give you exercise to boot.

If your company has a fitness incentive program, maybe look into getting perks or points for e-biking to work?
 

dollarbin

New Member
Parking was the first thing I looked into when setting up the program. We're in a pretty industrial area so I'd feel nervous trusting a lock out-doors all day.

We'll see how many people I can get to mount up. People in tech tend to be into gadgets and there's no gadget niftier than a bike that gives you superpowers. It probably also helps that the first person who I talked into an ebike was our CEO. I will check with HR about seeing if we can work a fitness incentive angle into the program.