What is the Bike to Work Challenge?

 

The Bike to Work Challenge is Switzerland’s largest biking promotion event, taking place in May and June every year. We have decided to engage with the challenge throughout May.

 

Bike to Work promotes fitness and team spirit for those brave enough to get in the saddle. The event also notes the sustainability benefits of cycling to work, as cycling produces notably fewer emissions than driving.

 

The scheme also supports individuals with different mobility requirements. Participants usually compete in teams, with most cycling. One team member is permitted to participate by using a scooter or skateboard, walking, or using any other muscle-powered mode of transport. Rules also accommodate individuals who live too close or too far away from their office, enabling more people to participate in the spirit of the event.

 

Several members of the ecoinvent team regularly commute to work at our headquarters in Zürich by bike, but last month, we added a bit of competition. Three ecoinvent teams registered for the 2024 Bike to Work Challenge:

 

  • Rolling Slowpokes:
    • Sebastian Kunde (Data Analyst)
    • Olivia Kaarlela (Data Analyst)
    • Lucia Valsasina (Database Product Manager)
    • Johannes Müller (Project Manager)

     

  • Minions:
    • Mattia Clementi (Data Analyst)
    • Paul Beckert (Data Analyst)
    • Carl Vadenbo (Database Content Lead)
    • Julie Kauer (Employer Branding Specialist)

     

  • Pedal & Furious:
    • António Silva (Software Engineer)
    • David FitzGerald (Database Operations Lead)
    • Nick Van Berckelaer (Head of Software Product Development)
    • Enrico Bonanno (Project Manager)

 
So, how did the ecoinvent teams perform?

Our Cycling Stats

 

Our staff biked 1446 km in total! If we tried that length with standard bars of Toblerone, we would need over six million of them lined end-to-end perfectly— 6,885,714 bars precisely. That’s a lot of chocolate!

 

Three ecoinvent champions outdid the others:

  • Carl Vadenbo: 223 km
  • Olivia Kaarlela: 167 km
  • Paul Beckert: 146 km

Our three teams did exceptionally well (and kept cycling throughout a very rainy month).

  • Minions: 560 km
  • The Rolling Slowpokes: 523 km
  • Pedal & Furious: 363 km

We had two dedicated cyclists who managed to cycle during every workday: Special congratulations to Enrico Bonanno and Sebastian Kunde!

Q&A with the Riders

We asked our team members to tell us about their Bike to Work experience.

 

Did you regularly cycle to work before participating in the challenge?

 

Sebastian Kunde (Rolling Slowpokes): Yes, every day.

 

Enrico Bonanno (Pedal & Furious): Yes, I cycle to work on a daily basis. So far, only fresh snow and ice have stopped me!

 

Julie Kauer (Minions): No, the ecoinvent office is around 23 km away from where I live, so biking to work has never seemed like something I would do.

 

What was the hardest part of the challenge?

 

Sebastian: It’s not a challenge for me, biking is the fastest and easiest way to get to work.

 

Enrico: None – everything was pretty easy since I was already used to it. Also, I live roughly 3 km away from ecoinvent, so it’s not a big deal.

 

Julie: Definitely the distance to work. However, I figured I can take the train for a bit and then start biking once I am a bit closer.

 

What was your favorite part of the challenge?

 

Sebastian: The giveaways.

 

Enrico: A bike ride every morning is really refreshing for waking up and helps me clear my thoughts about the day I just had.

 

Julie: One day, I woke up really early and biked the whole 23 km (I did use the e-bike for this, but shhh). After work, I biked the whole way back, so I covered around 46 km in one day! It was wonderful, and once the weather is better, I can definitely imagine doing this more often; the fresh air and calmness of the early morning was so relaxing and the best way to start my day.

I also love that I am not relying on any fixed train schedules when I go to work by bike. As I only have two trains per hour, biking gives me so much more freedom.

 

Where is your favorite place in the world to cycle?

 

Sebastian: Baltic coast.

 

Enrico: I’m not sure I can fully answer this question, having lived in only five countries. However, I would say the Swiss mountains seem like a paradise for mountain bikers.

 

On the other hand, the bicycle “highways” in the Benelux region are also very nice; they really incentivize people to use their bicycles more often in cities and when moving from one city to another since they are completely separated from car roads and offer a feeling of greater safety than taking a bike on a normal road, perhaps separated from cars only by a yellow line, as is often the case here in Zürich city.

 

Julie: Definitely Copenhagen, their roads and system for biking are amazing, and the city is just beautiful.

 

If you could design your dream bike for commuting, which features would it have?

 

Sebastian: Extremely light and easily drivable.

 

Enrico: A daily bike self-scan that tells me what problems the bike has and maybe a futuristic airbag that protects the cyclist in case of an accident.

 

Julie: There would definitely have to be a cup holder for my morning coffee (maybe even one that keeps my coffee warm?). Also, I would design a fingerprint system for locking my bike once I arrive at my destination. I sometimes forget my key and the lock to keep my bike safe…

View from the Road

Our long-distance champion, Carl Vadenbo, shares his favorite place to cycle: The hills of Zürich Oberland.

Join our team

The ecoinvent team is international, diverse, and committed to our organization’s mission to provide high-quality data by publishing the world’s most comprehensive LCI database.

 

If you’re interested in joining our team, check out our open positions or send us a spontaneous application. You can also connect with us on social media to follow our latest adventures.

Follow us on LinkedIn