During the National Bike Summit held earlier this month in Washington, D.C., REI Anchorage received a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Business award while Alaska Pacific University received an honorable mention.
The two Alaska businesses were among 55 new Bicycle Friendly Business honorees for Spring 2011. The League of American Bicyclists honors businesses twice a year, in March and September.
These two Anchorage businesses join four previous Bicycle Friendly Business award-winners from Alaska — the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (gold level, Fall 2009), Green Star Inc. (bronze level, Fall 2009), Southcentral Foundation (silver level, Fall 2010) and Providence Alaska Medical Center (bronze level, Fall 2010). There are four main levels for the Bicycle Friendly Business awards — Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze — plus Honorable Mention (which doesn’t carry the full weight of the other four levels).
According to REI Anchorage Outreach Specialist Mike Morganson, “Some things we listed in our application included indoor and outdoor employee bicycle parking, a bike commuter bathroom/changing room, an employee shower, commuter lockers, a monthly ‘Carbon Commute’ spreadsheet with awards for frequent commuters, weekly or bi-weekly Knucklehead rides open to employees and family/friends, generous employee discount on REI’s Novara bikes, clothing and accessories, and an encouraging environment. There may have been more, but that’s what I recall.”
No details were available from Alaska Pacific University, but the school offers the Jim Mahaffey Trail System on campus (about 20 kilometers of continuous trail), an outdoor recreation program with equipment rentals, a gym with showers and other programs for students and faculty.
The Bicycle Friendly Business program is part of the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America series of awards. The Bicycle Friendly America series of awards also includes the Bicycle Friendly Community awards, Bicycle Friendly State rankings and, new this year, the Bicycle Friendly University program (20 universities were honored at the National Bike Summit, none from Alaska). Alaska has two Bicycle Friendly Community award-winners — Sitka (bronze level, Spring 2008) and Anchorage (bronze level, Fall 2009). In the 2010 Bicycle Friendly State rankings, Alaska was 39th out of 50.