transforming the workplace, one bike at a time

Over the past 10 years, Silicon Valley has been transforming the American workplace and commute with a new focus on bicycles. Becoming more environmentally friendly, startups and established tech companies have started to think about implementing on-campus bikeshare programs and bike commuting initiatives. Last week, the League of American Bicyclists announced 71 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses. Among them are some of the Bay Area’s largest, best, and brightest organizations. Facebook, Apple, and Williams-Sonoma all took home awards due to their relationship with the organizational bicycle consultancy firm Bikes Make Life Better.

“Businesses … are realizing that the bicycle can be a powerful catalyst for increased profits, reduced health care costs, happier employees and more customers,”
-Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists.

It’s exciting to see so many companies supporting bike programs as healthy and sustainable transportation. After working with Bikes Make Life Better, Facebook received the Gold-level Bike Friendly Business, Apple the Silver, and Williams-Sonoma the Bronze. Each have implemented bike share programs to help their employees travel from building to building. Facebook has taken many steps to emphasize cycling as a means to enhance the workplace, contribute to the community and improve their overall earnings.
Bikes Make Life Better Co-Founder Amy Harcourt explains what a bicycle consultancy does, “we plan, design, and implement and support any kind of program related to bikes in an organizational setting.” If a company is in need of bikes, Harcourt and her team help them figure out the best kind to get, how to outfit them, and how to brand them. For Mozilla, Bikes Make Life Better did a fleet of bright orange Firefox-themed bikes decked out with flames. They also work on transportation management, corporate bike centers, events (like group rides), bike workshops, and biking challenges, among other things. “We bring all the programmatic stuff. You can have a bikeshare program but unless you’ve figured out how to programmatically support it, it doesn’t do well,” explains Harcourt.
Be sure to check out The League of American Bicyclists website for more information on how you can apply for a bike friendly business/university/city award. You can also find a local group ride, an instructor, a club and much much more! Cycle on, friends!

[sources: Fast Co., Bikes Make Life Better, League of American Bicyclists]

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Tom Foerstel : Founder & President

Tom Foerstel

Founder & President

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.


He went on to pursue his passion for art and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked for design firms in Southern California before moving to Boise, Idaho in the early 80’s. Foerstel Design opened its doors in 1985. Since its inception, the firm has cultivated a bold, happy, forward-looking team focussed on creating distinct and effective work on behalf of their clients.


An integral part of Tom’s philosophy is giving back to the community in which he lives — a company cornerstone that drives Foerstel’s long history of providing pro-bono services to local non-profit humanitarian and arts programs.


One of Tom’s proudest personal achievements is his ability to say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious backwards.