As Boise celebrates National Bike Week, it’s apparent that the city is on the forefront of Bicycle Friendliness when it comes to businesses and the community working together to promote all of the benefits of bicycling. From community organized social rides that break down barriers to bicycling for beginners; club organized skills and info classes on mountain biking, bikepacking, and commuting; to business sponsored events that reward bicyclists with free breakfast or beer - the entire community is coming together for just one reason: the love of bikes!
Well, with all that going on, Boise now has one more reason to celebrate.
Two more local businesses have joined the ranks of League Certified Bicycle Friendly Businesses. The League of American Bicyclists, a national bicycle advocacy organization, ranks businesses all over America in terms of how well they promote biking among employees, guests, and their community. Boise is ranked as the second city with the most Certified Bicycle Friendly Businesses (just behind Fort Collins, Colorado), with a total of 46 businesses awarded Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum status.
The two newest Boise Certified Bicycle Friendly Businesses, announced in the Bike Week 2017 round, are RedBuilt and JoyRide Cycles. Guru Donuts received an Honorable Mention and is well on its way to receiving Certification with its next application.
RedBuilt was awarded Silver status; it’s clear that they’re dedicated and passionate about getting more people riding to and from work. They offer a variety of incentives for reaching new bike commuting goals like lights for the first time bike commuter and a free full tune up for 30 days of being pedal powered. Plus, they make it easy to bike, offering free bike maps, end of ride bike maintenance tools, loaner helmets and locks, and covered bike parking. RedBuilt also partners with the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance to offer free commuter Lunch & Learns for those who are interested in bike commuting but are unsure about how to get started.
Peter Mellblom, spokesman for the self named “Red Riders,” RedBuilt’s crew of bicyclists, says that they are “super excited to become a Bike Friendly Business.” With summer just around the corner, they “are looking forward for the warmer weather and beautiful summer days approaching” and “expect to get a lot more associates riding to work soon.” Adding that their “only wish is for the Greenbelt to open again”--I think it’s fair to say that we’re all hoping for that!
JoyRide Cycles received a Bronze level designation which is in part due to the constant support they provide for Boise’s cycling and bike advocacy communities. Adrian Rodriguez, JoyRide’s Business Development Director sits on Boise Bicycle Project’s Board of Directors and is a strong advocate for bike safety and more people riding. JoyRide also hosts a number of community events and social rides that celebrate the power of two wheels. Says Rodriguez:
"Being a local bike shop, it’s natural that we’d be a Bicycle Friendly Business. However, our efforts extend beyond simply getting more people on bikes that we repair and sell. It's about providing support to our employees and developing the bicycle community as a whole, no matter what type of bike you ride or where it's made to go."
Guru Donuts, a local favorite and Boise staple, is also working hard to promote bicycling in Boise. This past winter, they partnered with Boise Bicycle Project to host a social ride specifically aimed at encouraging folks to winter commute. They offered a free donut to anyone who braved the cold and pedaled in on their way to work. And who wouldn't want to ride their bike for a free donut!?
Angel Moran, owner of Guru Donuts is excited to keep working toward improving bicycling to Guru Donuts and around Boise:
“We are grateful to have the encouragement and support from our local cycling community to bring Guru Donuts into the national conversation to make Boise a strong bicycle friendly community. We are inspired to make our small business a vibrant destination for staff, customers and visitors. We believe a healthy and safe cycling community means a thriving culture for our downtown.”
Each of the 46 Boise Bicycle Friendly Businesses are individually working toward promoting bicycling to employees, coworkers, and guests, making it easier to choose bicycling as a reliable form of transportation. Their collective effort helps make Boise as a whole a better place to ride.
If you or your business is interested in learning more about the Bicycle Friendly Business program, or how to become more bicycle friendly, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Says Kelly, Development Director with Boise Bicycle Project, and League Certified Instructor:
“With more Bicycle Friendly Businesses working toward promoting bicycling in Boise, the easier, safer, and more accessible bicycling can be to everyone.”
For a complete list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses in Boise and Nationwide, visit bikeleague.org/business.