Bikes Make Life Better

Bikes Makes Life Better encourages large corporations, universities, and government agencies to integrate bicycle commuting as a core part of their transportation strategy.

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“Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym.”

– Bill Nye The Science Guy

A bicycl fleet by Bikes Make Life Better for an IT campus

Photo by Susan Friedrich

Amy Harcourt and Kurt Wallace Martin may be doing more to get America to commute by bike than any two people in the country. Their for-profit business, Bikes Make Life Better (BMLB), works with large corporations, universities, and government agencies to integrate bikes as a core part of a transportation strategy.

“We know that an effective bike program helps organizations save money and make money,” said Harcourt. “When you create a bike ecosystem for your corporation that supports cycling, it positively impacts people and profitability.”

Apparently their message is getting through. Initial clients included tech leaders like Apple and Mozilla, followed by Facebook and LinkedIn. Now the benefits of getting employees to bike to work has persuaded companies like Wells Fargo, Williams-Sonoma, and Kaiser Permanente to incorporate comprehensive bike programs, too. As a result, BMLB’s business has grown 30-50 percent a year since opening in 2010.

What are the main drivers behind this exciting trend? “That’s easy,” said Harcourt. “Transportation, sustainability, and wellness. Bikes reduce the need for parking spaces and help companies comply with single occupancy vehicle reduction laws. They’re also an obvious part of any sustainability strategy, helping promote environmental goodwill. And data shows that bike commuters are healthier and more productive, lowering healthcare costs.”

All this is keeping Harcourt and BMLB busy, with client requests changing constantly. “End-of-trip facilities are very hot right now – showers and changing rooms, mostly. No one wants to arrive at work a sweaty mess.”


This article is part of our week-long coverage of global bike-based organizations changing the world two wheels at a time. Check out 10 Great Cycling Organizations to see more of their inspiring wok.

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