Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Eco-friendly Bicycle Companies

I received the latest issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News today, and was pleasantly surprised to see the second article in as many issues about a domestic bicycle industry participant making the commitment to eco-efficient facility design. In the June 15th issue, an article entitled "United Bicycle Institute Chooses Solar Power to Provide Electricity" highlights UBI's commitment to using clean technology to provide power to their facility.

The most recent article appears in the July 1 edition, this time on the front page. The headline reads "Eco-Conscious Companies Opt For Green Digs". This one, set in Ramona, CA highlights Ellsworth Bicycle's effort to adopt green technology in their facility. Not only did they install a photo-voltaic system to help offset their electricity use from the local utility, but the building is also constructed to take advantage of the earth's insulating qualities. The building is built into the ground, reducing their cooling needs, and therefore saving more energy and fossil fuel use.

The article goes on to mention the green manufacturing efforts adopted by Chris King, more well known by the general cycling population for their premium performance headsets and hubs than their efforts to create zero waste in their manufacturing. Quality Bicycle Products, the largest bicycle component distributor in the country, is mentioned for its plans to build a United States Green Building Council LEED Certified Gold $8 million expansion.

It is very encouraging to see these companies committing to these environmental measures. Cycling by it's very nature is an environmentally friendly activity. XtraCycle builds bicycle add-ons that make a regular bike into a load carrying work horse; just add your own leg power! Replacing car trips with bike trips helps reduce our use of fossil fuels and the release of green house gases. We help preserve the air we breathe and the pristine places we like to ride. With manufacturers (I am sure there are many more than I have mentioned here) taking these steps, it is one more reason to love bicycling.


Anonymous said...

I was a bit dissapointed that the article didn't mention more about Chris King. This company is doing far and above more than any other company, in any industry, to make sure they're not hurting the planet.

I was at a recent talk on the subject by Chris King's VP, Matt O'Rourke. This guy talks the talk and the company walks the walk.

I also noticed Bicycle Retailer did a front page story on Sapa...and they were one of the top 3 worst polluting companies in Portland, OR back in 2002.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the comment. I apologize for taking so long to respond. I think my settings were set up such that I was not notified of the comment (or I just forgot). I am aware of Chris King's efforts, but decided to not go as deeply as I could have here.