Labcyte Bike Team Wins First Place
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018
Keeping Our Resolve - When your New Year's resolutions include getting fit, spending more time outdoors, and reducing your carbon footprint, swapping bike for car as the way to work can be the perfect way to achieve all three.
When your company encourages the two-wheeled commute by providing secure bike storage and on-site showers, those resolutions are even easier to keep.
Labcyte resolved long ago to make its science sustainable. We have implemented practices that decrease energy and water consumption, and reduce waste going to the landfills. Our liquid dispensing instruments eliminate a significant amount of plastic tips waste and reduce reagents.
Our environmental ethos is evident in the halls of our headquarters as well as the hearts of our employees.
In 2006, Labcyte was one of the first high-tech manufacturing companies in Sunnyvale to be certified as a Green Business.
The most recent accolades to add is the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition's Company Bike Challenge. Meant to encourage alternatives to car commutes, the challenge awards points for frequency of trips as well as mileage. Labcyte came in first place for small companies in Santa Clara County, ahead of REI Mountain View and Pacific Coast Trane.
"As a company we did quite well, easily taking #1 for small companies in Santa Clara County, with 3,111 miles for 394 points-and two tons of CO2 prevented," said Andreas Kadavanich, leader of one of three internal teams, who also had their own friendly competition. "Even amongst companies of any size in Santa Clara County, we were a respectable 5th; ahead of Google."
The top internal team, Pooches Speedily Pedaling, speedily pedaled 1,385 miles for 149 points, followed by Flying Droplets with 963 miles for 131 points and Picoliter Sized Pulchritude 763 miles for 113 points.
"Super Pooch Doug (Weinstein) rode away with the individual record, 886 miles for 77 points, almost a team unto himself," Kadavanich added.
Weinstein, a software engineer, bikes to work every day, and his 15-mile commutes back and forth to work, as well as his two-wheeled trips to the grocery store, laundromat and other places, really added up. He's one of about a dozen Labcyte employees who religiously ride to work; many others join them for occasional commutes.
For Weinstein, cycling is a lifestyle with all kinds of benefits. The greatest amongst them is health, both physical and mental.
"I feel more fit when I ride," Weinstein says. "And I don't like being stuck in traffic, hemmed in. It's just unpleasant. When you're on your bike, it's a completely different experience. It's an escape. I'm not grid-locked, I'm always moving. It put me in a better frame of mind when I walk in the door at work."Weinstein says the benefits can extend to work, too.
"I can't tell you how many times I leave the office with a problem, and come back with some inspiration that struck me on the ride home or on my ride in," Weinstein says. "The brain works better when you are not too focused on a problem."
Weinstein says he appreciates the commitment the company has to cycling and employee health, as well as conservation. When Labcyte moved to its new headquarters in San Jose last year, it consulted its employees about how best to accommodate its environmentally-conscious commuters, including bike racks and charging stations for electric cars. It sponsored jerseys for its competitors, and Chief Technology Officer Richard Ellson, an avid cyclist, even joined the fun.
And it is fun, Weinstein says. During the regional Company Bike Challenge-which is held every year in May-he enjoyed the comradery and friendly competition which extended across the company, with team members from nearly every department, assigned by Kadavanich and fellow cycling superstar Andrea Symons to teams based on mileage expectations.
Although he won't literally be going the distance this year (he recently moved closer to work, so his mileage will be much lower), the evangelical enthusiast is doing his part to rally an even bigger troop of cyclists to join the competition.
"Just get on your bike and escape the commuting rat race," he says. "Enjoy the fresh air, and have fun!"