Slipstreamers live mission by reducing their own carbon footprint

June 26, 2019

 It is one thing to work for a non-profit organization devoted to energy efficiency and renewables but it’s another to take it to heart and choose to walk the talk. Throughout the first two weeks of June, Slipstream’s Bike Commuter Challenge took over our Madison and Chicago offices. The first week of the challenge coincided with Wisconsin’s Bike to Work week. Throughout that week, Madison hosted several events such as Ride the Drive and Bacon on the Bike Path, as well as bike stations with free treats or bike checks, organized bike rides, or special Madison Bike Week offers from local businesses. These two weeks celebrated bike riding to work and as Slipstreamers, our primary aim was to get as many people to bike or walk to work at least once.

Over the two-week window, Slipstream had 29 employees from our Madison and Chicago offices ride their bikes to work and log 1,425 miles. We displaced 61 gallons of fuel and avoided 1,219 pounds of CO2. Our organization competed against 13 organizations in the Madison area and won most miles per employee for a large firm, most miles biked, and Kevin Gries, Slipstream employee, won third place for most miles biked by an individual. We hope to keep this momentum going throughout the summer and encourage others to give biking a try.

Kevin Gries wins third place for most miles biked by an individual.
Kevin Gries wins third place for most miles biked by an individual. 

Here is what some Slipstreamers had to say about their biking experience:

“This was the first year that I used our Burley to get my kids to daycare before coming to work. It was a significant effort on top of our usual morning routine, but worth it once we got going. They’re pretty heavy though and getting heavier.” - Scott Schuetter

“I was scared to give it a try because I feared the ‘unknown’! I didn’t know how long it would take me, which path was safest and least hilly, how fast cars would be driving next to me... I decided to go for it anyways. Only 5 minutes into my ride, I ran into a co-worker, who guided me the way and what a delight! I learned that I should have started by asking a coworker to join me in my first ride while I learned the route! If you’re not sure you can do it, try doing it with a coworker first, and you’ll see how manageable it really is.” - Jacqueline Friedel

“Biking to work makes me happier and gets my work morning off to a better start! My favorite highlight was when my three-year-old daughter wanted to ride her balance bike with me. She made it most of the way and was dressed up like Snow White.” - Shannon Stendel

Snow White bikes to work.
Shannon Stendel's daughter helps her mom bike to work. 

“Biking is just such a great stress reliever for me. Once you overcome the hurdle of having biking as part of your routine (because that is a significant but short-lived hurdle), it becomes really frustrating to have to shift back to driving a car. You really miss out on that decompression effect.” - Scott Hackel

“Biking is a great way to start my morning and is only a few minutes longer than my driving commute.” - Kevin Frost

“I have made biking part of my lifestyle, because it gets me outside, gives me opportunity in a busy day to exercise and clear my thoughts, and is generally fun. For these reasons, biking to work is a no brainer. If I must sit at my desk all day, at least I know my day is bookended by fresh air. I also try to bike-commute my children to preschool as much as I can for many of the same reasons – plus it’s important to me to teach them that cars aren’t the only way to get around.” - Jeannette LeZaks

“Prior to Bike to Work Week, I hadn’t bike commuted at all to the new office. The encouragement of the challenge got me motivated to tune my bike, map out a course, and figure out the logistics of bike parking, showering, etc. Now I plan to bike in at least once a week.” - Lee Shaver

"After all the grumbling I do with myself in the morning, like 'I’m too tired' or 'It’s going to take too long,' I get myself on the bike and just start pedaling. Then I look around and tell myself, 'this is my beautiful commute,' and I feel so lucky!" - Troy Ostrowski