Yahoo held a huge bike fair at their Sunnyvale headquarters last week. The bike fair was organized to encourage bicycling as transportation. Specialized, local bike shop Mike's Bikes and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition were on hand to display bikes and help people with bike commute routes.
Five lucky Yahoo employees also won a special Yahoo edition of the Specialized Globe Comp IG8 bicycle. The Globe Comp IG8 is a commuter bike with Shimano's Nexus 8 speed hub in the rear wheel, carbon fiber front fork with fender mounts, and 700x42 flat resistant street tires.
That purple bike is pretty hard to miss; I ran into one of the lucky winners -- Daniel -- at the Caltrain station in Mountain View, California last night and learned about the Yahoo bike fair.
36% of Yahoo headquarters employees get to work without driving solo. This is double the 18% mode-shift that the corporation committed to the City of Sunnyvale when building permits were first issued. Yahoo’s cool commute program is comprehensive, popular and getting results.
Yahoo provides employees with free VTA Eco-Passes for bus and light-rail. Many of the Yahoo commuters are able to get extra work done using laptops and other mobile devices while commuting on public transit.
Yahoo’s results are impressive considering that Silicon Valley workers are widely dispersed in search of affordable housing. Technologists work long and irregular hours, which makes ridesharing more challenging. Many Silicon Valley locations provide a long and uncomfortable walk in the dark to public transit.
Yahoo addresses these problems in a number of ways. One is that it provides a guaranteed ride home. Yahoo will pay for a late worker’s taxi or rental car. Many at the workshop agreed that a guaranteed ride home is critical to a commute programs success. All agreed that employees rarely use the guarantee, making the cost minimal.
Yahoo has a fleet of shuttles to get people to and from transit, between Yahoo locations, to airports and sometimes providing an emergency ride. Some of the shuttles run on B20 biodiesel.
It is not easy to get employees to change their commuting behavior. Yahoo used surveys, education, an intranet website to help people find others for ridesharing, and YahooGroups to encourage collaboration, and monthly reward competition for those who avoid driving solo.
Yahoo encourages the use of the zero-emission vehicle owned by one billion people on this planet – the bicycle. Yahoo provides bicycler riders with secure storage of their bikes. Free lockers and showers are available. To help people quickly navigate Yahoo’s campus of buildings, loaner bikes are also available.
Please remember to click on the Digg and CycleCluster buttons below if you like this article!
By Yokota Fritz
During an important emergency response drill on Saturday, top White House officials participated with other federal agencies to test the response of the U.S. federal government during a simulated terrorist attack against ten U.S. cities. During this morning drill, President George W. Bush went on a bike ride. Via .
If more people started their day with a bicycle ride, this world might be a better place. Then again, the bike ride didn't end so well for these folks: "Three suspected Pakistani militants were blown to pieces by their explosives on Saturday when they rode over a bump on a bicycle outside a town in the central province of Punjab." According to police, none of these cyclists wore a helmet, clearly proving that helmet use should be mandatory for bike-riding bombers.
I found the story about Bush after creating my latest handy bike-searching tool using Yahoo Pipes. This feed combines the data from many of the most popular blogs and searches for mentions of bicycling related topics. This way, I don't need to read all of these high-volume blogs just to find the occasional mention of a bicycling story.
The Federal Register is a daily compilation of U.S. Federal regulations, notices, presidential proclamations, executive orders, and other federal agency documents of public interest. I've taken an RSS feed from several Federal agencies and filter for bicycling-related terms to create this new feed using the Yahoo Pipes service.
This law creates the standards by which bicycle helmets can be sold in the United States, specifying impact standards, testing methods, and record-keeping requirements. According to the CPSC, helmet manufacturers and importers spend from 100 to 150 hours per model per year to comply with the law. With an estimated 200 models of bicycle helmets sold in the United States, that works out to about $1,000,000 of paperwork every year.
By Yokota FritzYahoo Pipes is flexible and easy to use, but with advanced features that promises some cool tricks. I spent 10 minutes reading the intro, looked at a couple of examples and created my first Pipe: The Cyclelicious Bicycle Love photos. Total time was maybe 20 minutes.
The Cyclelicious Bicycle Love pipe takes the Cyclelicious feed, runs it through Yahoo's "Content Analyzer" module, and uses that output to find photos that are somewhat related to Cyclelicious posts. If you're a Flickr fiend, there's even an RSS feed for this set of photos you can subscribe to. If you like, you can open up my Pipe, edit it to include your blog's RSS feed instead, then save it yourself.
I intend to explore Yahoo Pipes some more. You can filter on keywords, combine feeds, translate, use localization (mapping) modules, sort input, take user input, and do string manipulation.
If you have ideas for interesting mashups involving bicycles or if you've created your own pipes, please feel free to comment and post your links here.
Update: Here are some more pipes I've created --
L'Equipe cycling news RSS feed translated from French to English. L'Equipe only provides a partial feed with links back to the French-language article, but I'm working on a way to re-write the links so it passes through a translator first. Non-RSS web page here.
Cyclelicious in German - as an RSS feed or as a web page. The RSS feed contains the complete translated text, while the web site shows only a portion of each article.
Yahoo's company car
I'm a bike to work Yahoo! They give us such great support for riding to work. If you love cycling this is the place to work. They have free bike lockers and showers with towel service in most buildings. If you participate in their commuter program you can earn movie tickets, free meals and massages. It's a pretty amazing company to work for.
That is awesome, plain and simple. Sounds like something Google would do... have you ever seen a tour of Yahoo/Google headquarters. You wouldn't even believe it's an office.
As a faithful Caltrain riding Yahoo, I thank you for the plug! Don't forget our campus showers, to wash off the biking dreck. And nice photo!
If you want a virtual tour of our campus, head on over to our corporate blog (the video's on the bottom of this page: http://yodel.yahoo.com/about/).
Nicki Dugan Editor, Yodel Anecdotal
Yahoo is a very bike friendly employer, and actively encourages its employees to find alternatives to driving to work solo. We even have super friendly bike advocates on staff to help newbie bike commuters map out and plan their trips.
I usually bike+Caltrain to work from San Francisco, and Yahoo allows me to have flexible work hours, and also provides a nice hot shower with towel service when I get into the office. Even though I have my own secure bike locker on campus, I usually just park my bike at my desk, and wheeling my bike up the elevator and through the office is perfectly acceptable.
We have incentives where cyclists can earn free meals and movie tickets just by cycling to work.
On the days when I might not feel like cycling, I can hop on one of the free employee shuttles that run to and from San Francisco and my office in Sunnyvale. The shuttles are even equipped with WiFi and run on biodiesel.
"36% of Yahoo headquarters employees get to work without driving solo"
Wow, that is amazing! Nice job Yahoo.
I still get the occasional funny look for riding a bike to work, but interest in commuting is on the rise everywhere these days.
Awesomeness, I am busy building a velomobile to cycle around South Africa. I also want to promote Human Power as a valid commuting method
President Bush has his priorities straight
Nice segue into the helmet legislation issue Fritz.
I actually wrote a whole post on the John Stossel 20/20 helmet segment but trashed it.
Anyway, I'll leave a short thought on that here.
In Oz, our experience is that after the initial decline in participation, something that took years to recover, helmets are no longer seen as an objection, just a part of the kit. We've moved on, but it is amusing to see the discourse over there. The anti's are wrong.
I've never see legislation as the issue some folks make it out to be, but then that's me. Govt's legislate on all kinds of things, so why not helmets? I know, I know, I've heard all the arguments.
However, national and cultural differences do apply, so in the case of the US public education on helmets rather than legislation is the way to go.
Reading so many US cycling blogs it's apparent that cycling is on the up, so I'd be cautious regarding anything that would disrupt the trajectory, the end goal is more folks on bikes, and the risk assessment on your side of the pond favours letting sleeping dogs lie.
Re the Pakistani would be bombers: All three guys on the one bike carrying home made explosives, nutty. An early candidate for the Darwin Awards 2007.
The Federal Register, bicycling and the cost of compliance
Thanks, its is very useful
Thanks, Fritz. I think this will come in handy as new legislation and new regulations come our way.
Yahoo Pipes and bicycle love
Cool. I read about this the other day and considered some of the possibilities, but this seem like a nice practical application. I'll have to fool around a bit myself. Thanks for sharing.
http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.com/2006_03_12_archive.html has an interesting take on th "bicycle is a pipe bomb" story, though if it really *is* a punk band I"m surprised it doesn't have *something* else on the web. That's really underground!!!
Cool, Rad Spannerei in English. I just added it to my feeds.