Three non-bike brands that give back to bicycling
As a non-profit that works to improve bicycling conditions in the U.S., it probably comes as no surprise that we have excellent support from the U.S. bicycle industry. Bike manufacturers, distributors, and retailers—companies big and small—back our efforts to make bicycling better.
What might surprise you, however, is that there are companies outside of the bike world who care a lot about bicycling and make giving back to it an integral part of their corporate culture. Here’s a little bit about three of our favorite non-endemic partners.
It’s no secret that the folks at the nation’s third-largest craft brewery are a little wild about bikes. A red cruiser takes center stage in their logo and on the label of their famous flagship ale—appropriately named “Fat Tire.” New Belgium employees receive a cruiser bike on the first anniversary of their hiring. After five years of service, employees are invited to tour Belgium’s finest breweries by bike. Throughout the year, the brewery organizes rides for employees and races for the local community.
Bicycling is a major part of the New Belgium culture for a number of reasons. Inspiration for the business came while the founder was bike touring through Europe. Environmental stewardship is one of the company’s 10 core values. Number 10 on that list? Having Fun—and that’s where Tour de Fat comes in.
Tour de Fat is a massive bike party on tour. In 2012, it visiting 15 cities. While the theme of Tour de Fat is “circus freakshow,” it’s probably one of the most mainstream bike events out there. We’ve attended many Tour de Fats to collect pledges for PFB, and we are always surprised by how many bike nuts the event creates.
New Belgium has supported PFB and our foundation in numerous ways over the years. One current initiative is the Glass That Gives, where for every $9 glassware set you purchase, New Belgium will donate $1 to the charity of your choice—one of the four options being us! (Definitely pick us.)
Click here to check out the Glass That Gives program and send a nifty custom online holiday card while you’re at it.
We have admired clothing company nau’s good looks and progressive corporate culture for years. When the opportunity arose earlier this year for our foundation to become one of nau’s five Partners for Change, we were elated.
Based in Portland, Oregon, it’s easy to see why nau has a connection to bike culture. We love how bicycles appear throughout their imagery, silently helping promote the idea that bikes can be an integral (and fashionable!) part of everyday life—no neon yellow spandex required. While we appreciate that nau clothing doesn’t scream “cyclist,” many of their garments are designed to be comfortable for riding a bike. Like New Belgium, making this world more bike-friendly is very much in line with nau’s mission, which reads:
At nau, our goal is to use design to redefine business so that it can be a force for change. We do this by making sustainability and philanthropy inherent in everything we do; by blending the tailored and the technical to craft urban and outdoor performance apparel; by pioneering premium, eco-friendly fabrics; and crafting clean, intuitive silhouettes that are built to move.
When you make a purchase at nau.com, thanks to their Partners for Change initiative, you can choose to donate 2% of your sale to Bikes Belong (PFB’s parent foundation). PFB staffers who have purchased gear from nau claim it’s one of the best clothing investments they’ve made. The garments aren’t cheap, but the high-quality design and construction—not to mention what the company stands for—makes the purchase well worth it. nau also runs great sales and web specials where you can get a deal on their goods.
“Wait, Volkswagen, really?” you might say. “Aren’t you guys for bikes?” We sure are, and so is the world’s largest automaker. With all the “bikes-versus-cars” talk out there, this partnership might sound counterintuitive, but in fact it is anything but.
Volkswagen has partnered with bike teams and companies in the past, but in 2012, they really got behind bicycling—including our initiatives that help people substitute two wheels for four.
Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning joined us for the last day of the Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington, our 500-mile bike ride from Boston to Washington, DC. A big bicyclist himself, here’s what Browning said to the Washington Post:
“The initiatives that Bikes Belong supports in terms of safe routes to school for children, looking to improve the infrastructure in terms of bike riders and the environment, I think those are excellent projects. . . . It’s the idea of finding solutions for personal mobility that are sustainable,” Browning said.
Especially when we’re talking about short trips, people deserve a choice about how they get around, whether by bike, by car, or another way. Volkswagen recognizes this, and that’s why they made supporting bicycling part of their Think Blue campaign, an initiative to promote eco-friendly mobility and motivate employees and customers to practice environmental responsibility in their everyday lives.
VW’s sponsorship has been huge for PFB this year, allowing us to reach twice the number of people and collect double the pledges we did in 2011. We’ll be partnering with them again in 2013, and are extremely grateful for their forward-looking support.blog comments powered by Disqus