Yahoo’s company car


“The limited edition Yahoo! bike” photo from Yodel Anecdotal.

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 700×42 flat resistant street tires.

Yahoo special edition from Specialized
Yahoo special edition from Specialized
Yahoo special edition from Specialized

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.

Cleantech blog notes that Yahoo! is among the most successful when it comes to encouraging Yahoos to use alternate means of transportation:

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!

Raleigh USA 2008 spy photos

Raleigh USA is doing their photo shoots for the 2008 catalog. Raleigh Commutes blog master Carey S has been posting photos of some of the 2008 bikes to her blog. You can see

Suicide is no solution

Your horoscope: If you’re feeling down and depressed and want to kill yourself, please don’t use the train. It inconveniences thousands of people and we’re not going to feel too kindly about your problems. Call a friend. If your friends aren’t sympathetic, find new friends. If you can’t find a friend, call a hotline or a mental health help line.

Jumping in front of a train just to make your girlfriend feel sorry for you only proves your ridiculous narcissistic selfishness in your so-called relationship. She doesn’t exist just to serve your needs alone. She is not responsible for your happiness and well-being. Relationships are a two-way street requiring selflessness, sacrifice, and more empathy than your tiny frog brain is capable of.

Bikes banned from Slovak trails

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič signed into law legislation that will ban bikes from forest trails in Slovakia.

Slovak mountain bikers were caught by surprise when they learned that a widespread ban of mountain biking on forest trails has been proposed. Just few days after the information became public the Slovak parliament passed the legislation, albeit after heated discussions. Mountain bikers believed they would be able to persuade the Slovak President to veto the law. A petition against the new regulation was signed by 3,000 people within a day of the decision and eventually garnered close to 16,000 signatures. Yet, without any advocacy organization of their own, it was hard for Slovakian mountain bikers to take further decisive steps.

Read more at IMBA.

Wow, two mountain biking posts in one day is more than I’ve done the whole rest of the year. Will Fritz turn more to mountain biking in the near future? My sources for mountain bike news include Go Clipless and Blue Collar Mountain Biking.

MTB: Sand riding?

I’m not an expert mountain biker, but I enjoy the occasional foray into singletrack and I know the basics of riding through sand: deflate the tires, unweight the front, and push your way through.

But what if you also need to clear 18 inch water bars? Going uphill, I didn’t have the strength to bring my bike up and over the water bars while pushing through sand. I don’t know if there’s any more technique I can bring to this so I can accept that I just have to carry the bike or muscle it through on the uphill.

But is there something I can try going downhill? I tried a few things, but the result was front wheel plant in sand downhill of the water bar, with the resulting back end flipping up and over. (Yes, I was ready for it and landed on my feet while ditching the bike).

Thoughts?

Signs of the times

BP has announced its departure from the retail gas business in North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana and Wyoming. North Dakota has experienced fuel shortages all year.

BP says it is abandoning those markets because it cannot meet its goal of supply reliability. In the United States, BP brands include am/pm markets, Amoco, and ARCO.

BP station operators in the U.S. southeast are also reporting that they’ve been told to find new suppliers.

Fuel shortages that are already endemic across large swathes of Africa and parts of Asia are beginning to hit more remote areas of the United States, where mass transit and even bicycling is not a realistic transportation option.

Folks, this is our breadbasket. If our farmers and ranchers can’t buy the fuel to manage our food supply, we’re in for some tough times ahead.