Inside Google's fascinating bike culture

From clown bikes, to hard core commuters, Google's bike culture is like no other.

Many companies have bike commuters. Some companies even provide them with showers or special bike parking to encourage more biking and healthier workers. But it's hard to imagine many companies that have developed a bike culture like Google.

Writing for Wired, Robert McMillian journeys into the fascinating world of Google Bikes:

“Google is certainly unique in their commitment to bicycling,” says Colin Heyne, deputy director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. More than seven percent of Googlers bike into work each day at the company’s main campus. There, Google has on-site showers with lockers and a towel service, secure parking areas (complete with repair tools), an on-site bike repair service, and bike-friendly shuttle buses for employees who want to bike just the last few miles of their commute.

But most impressive has to be Google's bikeshare: A fleet of 1,300 Google Bikes -- known as clown bikes for their uniform blue, red, and yellow design -- spread throughout their corporate headquarters (Washington, D.C.'s bikeshare has about 1,800 bikes). Unlike a bikeshare you might see in cities, these bikes are free in price and availability, "scattered like toys" across Googleplex -- no membership, no locks.

But at Google, being Google, there's no shortage of oddities. From the wacky: ConferenceBikes -- bikes where seven people can ride in a circle facing each other -- to the serious(ly crazy): the group of workers who regularly make the 42-mile journey from San Francisco to Google HQ.

Inside the Cycleplex: The Weird, Wild World of Google Bikes [Wired]

Photo: Flickr/The Man in Blue

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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