ACT may be known for making students sweat over its college exams, but the organization also encourages employees to arrive to its Iowa City, IA campus huffing and puffing on their bicycles.
The push to create a bike culture started over 10 years ago when the first racks were installed, notes Brad Spillman, Senior Facilities Manager. ACT gathered input from cyclists to determine which rack style would be the best option.
Outdoor loop racks are located at the main entrances of all four buildings and hold 5-10 bikes. Several prime stalls in the parking lot have also been converted for racks. Though work hours are typically during the day, the racks are well lit in the evening and are also in the line of surveillance cameras for added safety, Spillman explains.
Working in tandem with the secure storage provided by facilities management, the company encourages biking for all employees rather than just the commuters, says Sandy Stewart, Wellness Manager. ACT holds several events each year that include group rides, workshops, a bike to work week, and teams participating in the National Bike Challenge. Temporary bike racks made of conduit are placed around the property to accommodate the influx of riders.
In recent years, the company has continued to expand options for bikers. This includes installing a repair platform equipped with tools so bikers can make emergency repairs, notes Spillman. Within the last few months, the company renovated a space for a wellness center with showers and locker rooms.
“The lack of facilities was an obstacle for bikers, walkers, and runners alike,” says Stewart. “This new feature will enable more employees to support healthy habits at work.”
Though biking has become a fixture at ACT in the last decade, Spillman and Stewart are looking ahead to maintain and grow that enthusiasm. Up for consideration – covered bike storage. Particularly for its Iowa office, lockers will shield bikes from inclement weather and keep snow at bay for winter riders. An incentive program that includes rewards for bikers is also in the works.