Why We Bike
In June, Elevators were particularly focused on bike commuting to our office in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Many were motivated by the Bike Commuter Challenge, a local competition from the Active Transportation Alliance that encouraged people to commute to work by bicycle June 12 to 19.
Despite all the rain, we did well. In fact, we won our category for the 11th year in a row.
Yes, the 11th year in a row. Wow!
Our Elevate team did 237 trips, traveling just under 1,000 total miles with 84 participants. Congrats to everyone who participated, because, really, we all win when we bike commute.
The glory of the competition aside, we bike for other reasons, too. We like to say that we apply our mission of smarter energy use for all in everything we do, including how we get to our office.
Here are just a few reasons why we bike:
For the Environment
The problem: Transportation produces significant carbon emissions.
The transportation sector accounts for about one-fourth of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the second largest contributor after the electricity sector. Biking just a few legs to work each week cuts down on motorized trips, which reduces our overall carbon emissions and contributes to a healthier environment.
A total of 4,000 people participated in the Bike Commuter Challenge this year, biking a total of 84,062 miles. Had we instead driven these miles we logged on our bikes, we would have released 37.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to the emissions released from burning 40,137 pounds of coal. By biking, we saved as much carbon as 958 tree seedlings would sequester after growing for 10 years.
The problem: Owning and driving a car costs money.
Equity is a large part of our mission, ensuring that low and moderate income families benefit from energy efficiency and renewable energy. Just as energy efficiency can help reduce utility bills, biking can help save money. The average cost of car ownership can be burdensome, and commuting via bike, public transportation, or other local car sharing service can free up money for investment in other things.
And, of course, it’s fun. We feel healthier, we don’t have to deal with parking, and we’re happy.
Why do you bike?