Torrance Wong and Blake Rambo are avid cyclists who are leading the Cooper Carry workplace Biketober team. Despite being in the 200-499 staff size group, Cooper Carry is currently one of the highest scoring workplace teams, with points rivaling those earned by the 2000+ staff size group. How did they get so good?
Leading the Charge
Well, for starters, they have some great Biketober leaders at the helm. In 2016, when one of their coworkers sent around an informational email about Biketober, both Torrance and Blake thought that Cooper Carry needed to set up a team and get organized to win. Just acquaintances at the time, the two set out to encourage their coworkers to join them for the Biketober competition.
Blake is a long-time cyclist who had already been cycling regularly, both recreationally and to work, by 2016. His colleague and fellow cyclist, Torrance, was newer to the game at the time (though just as enthused!) and had just begun cycling to work to cut down on commute time. Now, both Blake and Torrance are biking regulars who own three bikes each!
So, for competitive and passionate cyclists Blake and Torrance, bringing their company with them into the competition was a no-brainer. When Blake and Torrance first got Cooper Carry signed up for Biketober in 2016, the company just competed against other workplaces. However, the company quickly became invested in and excited for the challenge each year.
Heating up the Competition
In 2018, the Cooper Carry cyclists started to up the ante on their Biketober game – forming teams under the Cooper Carry umbrella team. Blake and Torrance got people excited about the challenge by setting additional goals and milestones to encourage participation along the way. One of the things that Torrance says is the most effective in kickstarting their coworkers’ competitive spirit are the mileage stickers that they have created each year. As team members ride throughout the month, they are awarded milage stickers for various milestones – 25 miles biked, 50 miles biked, etc. One year, Torrance passed all of the milage goals, reaching 1,000 miles biked during Biketober, and had to have a special sticker made just for him! Blake says they also sometimes offer other small prizes or incentives, like company water bottles.
Beyond the milage stickers or water bottle prizes, Cooper Carry also hosts a celebratory end of Biketober lunch (though they will not be hosting one this year due to COVID), where they recognize the accomplishments from all their cyclists during the month. They even hand out little, plastic (and highly coveted) trophies for honors such as the winning team within Cooper Carry and individual team MVPs.
Building Connections with Their Team
Both Blake and Torrance agree – Biketober has given Cooper Carry employees the opportunity to meet and connect with coworkers they otherwise may have never gotten to know from other divisions or floors within the office.
And, as Cooper Carry is an architectural firm, Blake and Torrance say that Biketober has made them and their company more aware of cycling infrastructure, which informs their work as they advocate for and design more mobility-inclusive spaces.
Not to mention, cycling helps their company to “practice what they preach”! Blake and Torrance mentioned that Cooper Carry places a strong emphasis on sustainability in their work (Blake is the current chair of their sustainability committee!), and that Biketober has been an important catalyst over the years that has helped their coworkers make the jump from non-cyclist to recreational biker and from recreational biker to bike commuter! They said that Biketober has helped to encourage Cooper Carry employees to practice more sustainable commuting even after the challenge is over.
Biketober isn’t over yet! Join us:
We have tons more prizes, including drawings for restaurant vouchers, bike gear and more.
For more information, check out ATLBikeChallenge.com
Note: These photos are from Biketober challenges prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage everyone to continue practicing social distancing measures per the CDC’s guidelines.