June 25, 2014 | No comments yet
he team at Wiser Capital is committed to cleaner, more sustainable energy practices in all facets of life. Our business model promotes this commitment by financing solar energy projects. During the month of May, our staff and interns exemplified our dedication to a clean energy future by commuting on bicycles for a local competition, CycleMAYnia. Traffic Solutions, a Santa Barbara County organization that promotes and encourages alternatives to driving alone, with the goals of reducing traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as improving quality of life, hosts this annual event during National Bike Month. This competition provides a framework for organizations, businesses, volunteers, and community members to collectively compete in a bike challenge. Teams of five ride for prizes and pride, raising money for local charities and promoting alternative ways of commuting.
Wiser Capital had a unique challenge as an organization with offices located at 440 feet of elevation. This may not sound like much to the elite cyclist, but the entire city sits very close to sea level (40 feet) and the elevation gain happens in well under one mile. For the bike commuter, it was rough. Some of us chose to bike to yoga or the grocery store instead. Our interns biked to classes at the University of California, Santa Barbara. But those who embraced the strenuous incline on the way to work were rewarded with an exciting and beautiful downhill ride at the end of the day. Our team, named Wiser AC/DC, rode 312 miles and finished fifth in the very small company division.
This year, the 5th Annual CycleMAYnia challenge brought together thousands of cyclists and community members that took more than 8,900 bike trips in just one month. That means 8,900 fewer car trips, which on average produce 20 pounds of CO2 with each gallon of gas used. In addition to the environmental benefits, biking reduces monthly expenses. Fewer miles means fewer trips to the gas station, less wear and tear on your vehicle, and no parking headaches or costs. The League of American Bicyclists compared operating costs for bicyclists and the average car owner. Bicyclists spend around $308 per year, while car owners spend $8,220 per year. That’s some real change! According to Forbes, replacing just one four-mile car trip with a bike each week for an entire year would save more than two billion gallons of gas, and $7.3 billion a year (based on $4 a gallon for gas).
This year, teams also competed to earn charitable contributions for Santa Barbara based organizations. The top 50 teams were each able to participate in these contributions. Not only were teams cutting pollution, saving money and getting fit, they were also helping the community.
Through CycleMAYnia, we learned that you don’t have to be an all-star athlete to incorporate biking into your weekly routine. Start small, bike to the pharmacy or bank, run errands or attend events on your bike. Use your bike on the weekends. One of our staffers discovered that the Santa Barbara Bowl has bike valet for the best parking spots in town. Need help with your bike? Santa Barbara is full of resources like BiCi Centro, a ‘bike kitchen’ where you can go to learn how to ride a bike or fix a bike. You can also buy a bike or build a bike in their workshop.
Wiser Capital is dedicated to cleaner energy, and our commitment and excitement extend well beyond our business walls. We strive to share our enthusiasm for healthy and happy communities everywhere.
Megan Nicole Byrn serves as the Wiser Capital major accounts point person. In April she sold her car, trading her vehicle dependence for a commitment to fulltime bike commuting, hoping to spread excitement for energy efficiency through solar and biking alike.