Bike-to-Work Team pedals to grand prize award in
MassCommuter Challenge

MIT Lincoln Laboratory honored for outstanding participation

Logo of Bike LLMIT Lincoln Laboratory and its 2011 Bike Week Challenge team garnered first-place awards in the annual MassCommuter Challenge. The team of 117 bicyclists pledged 6,965 miles during the Bay State Bike Week, held during 14 to 20 May to encourage people to ride their bicycles to work, school, or other activities. The Laboratory team's mileage not only earned them first place in the class for organizations of 3,000 to 4,999 employees, it was the highest mileage of all 197 participating organizations, outdistancing the runner-up team (which happened to be MIT campus) by 969 miles for the honor of grand prize winner.

"Our consistently high achievement in the MassCommuter Challenge results from a strong commitment at the Laboratory to corporate social responsibility, manifested through long-term support of bicycle commuting by the senior management," says Jeff Roth, a long-time member of the Bike-to-Work team and Bike LL, the Lab's employee bicycling community.

Lincoln Laboratory was also honored with a first-place award for outstanding participation and corporate bicycle services. This award reflects the ongoing commitment the Laboratory has made to promoting bicycling as a commuting option and fitness activity. Services supported by the Laboratory include sheltered bicycle parking, a free bike-share program, a bike repair stand and tools, and shower facilities. The award also recognizes the Lab's involvement in the MIT reimbursement program for bicycle commuting expenses and in other transportation initiatives aimed at reducing the use of single-occupancy vehicles.

Bicyclists set out on tour of Hanscom AFBAs part of the Bay State Bike Week, BikeLL organized a lunchtime ride around Hanscom Air Force Base. Cyclists departed from the Lab's Health and Wellness Center (above). The leisurely paced tour stopped at some historical landmarks and Hanscom facilities along the way.   

In collaboration with Bike LL, the Lab this year offered bike safety checks, a bike-commuting "how-to" seminar, and four breakfasts during May for bicycle commuters. "There are so many tangible personal benefits from cycling to work, whether it be the fun, fitness, or independence gained, yet there are also wider benefits to the Laboratory, for example, freeing up car parking spaces for visitors and enhancing health and wellness of employees,"says Roth.

Because Hanscom Air Force Base, on which the Lab is located, participated for the first time in the MassCommuter Challenge, Bike LL was able to coordinate Bike Week events with the wider Hanscom community. A first-time event organized by Bike LL for this year's Bike Week was a noontime bicycle tour around Hanscom. During the 6.5-mile ride, about 20 cyclists learned about facilities on the base and local historical sites.

This was the second consecutive, and third overall, year the Lincoln Laboratory team earned a first-place award in the MassCommuter Challenge for scoring highest in its size category. This is the first time the Laboratory received the grand-prize award for highest mileage statewide.

The challenge is a large statewide event sponsored by MassCommute, a group of Transportation Management Associations promoting sustainable commuting options. The challenge event specifically helps MassCommute advocate for increased bicycling, which helps reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and foster healthier lifestyles. In 2010, the Laboratory was also named a gold-level Bicycle-Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists, an organization that promotes bicycling for recreation and transportation.

Posted August 2011

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