Case Study: How Arc'teryx became an award winning Bike to Work team.

May 22, 2019

Jessica O’Dowd is the Manager, Employee Experience at Arc’teryx based in their head office in North Vancouver. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying a city ride with her husband and three-year-old or enjoying some mountain biking in North Vancouver. Jessica first got involved in Bike to Work Week back in 2013 when she was working as a Commercial Analyst. Leading the team was a side of the desk secondary job for Jessica but helped her to realise her passion for getting involved with the people and culture side of the company. 


Bike to Work Week played a big role in helping me to change career direction at Arc’teryx. - Jessica O’Dowd, Talent and Communications Lead, People and Culture.


Jessica shared her top tips with us for engaging with colleagues:

1. Booked Bike to Work Week with fun events 

Arc’teryx kick starts their Bike to Work Week with a free pancake breakfast for participants who ride to work and finishes off the week with a wrap up BBQ and awards ceremony followed by a craft brewery crawl on bikes. 

2. Enlist the help of others 

During the lead up to Bike to Work Week, Jessica also enlists the help of a Bike to Work Week Organizing Committee. 

3. Try something new every year to keep returning colleagues engaged 

An organising committee with 2 or 3 new people each year to bring fresh ideas in helps. In 2018 one of the new committee members suggested setting up a whiteboard in the bike rooms and another new member suggested running an inclusive, week-long bike bingo game.

4. Encourage colleagues but also give them room to ‘self organize’ 

Arc’teryx sponsors a celebration station, and other planned daily activities, but also ensure that teammates are equipped to self-organize. They offer internal prizes for different categories (number of trips logged, km cycled, single longest trip,etc.)

5. Solicit internal prizes and share with winners after 11 am

Prizes which cannot be bought such as branded water bottles tend to go down well and saving the larger prizes for the end of the week awards ceremony helps keep up the momentum.

6. Keep regular internal communication and regular communications flowing

Ensuring that colleagues are regularly updated on progress and how they are doing against other teams in the organization and against similar organisations is key. (You can see live results at the bottom of your Dashboard under Reports - All Organization Stats)

7. Reduce the barriers to entry  

Ensuring that colleagues have a bike they can access during Bike to Work Week is key. Each year Arc’teryx rents a fleet of bikes and e-bikes from a nearby shop, so everyone who wants to ride has an opportunity to try. (There are also bike share operations in Vancouver, Tri-Cities and Richmond)

8. Educate and inform 

Use a whiteboard with statistics and a calendar for the week with information on the weather for the next day and events happening – it serves as both an information and an engagement piece.

9. Bike buddies 

Arc’teryx have successfully trialed a cycling buddy system: pairing those new to cycling with experienced bike commuters. New riders from the previous season often become the seasoned riders, and pay it forward in future seasons.

10. Keep the event fun 

Each year Arc’teryx set up a ‘slow mo’ competition - a bike course with obstacles which helps to keep the event fun and get all tiers of the organisation involved. And of course finish the week with a giant celebration of bike culture.