Entergy + Bike Easy = GNO Bike to Work Day
The Entergy and Bike Easy partnership extends into its 7th year
At this point, it’s the stuff of legends around here. Before any of the current Bike Easy staff or board was around… you know, way back in 2010… then-Bike Easy ED, Jamie Wine, and leaders from Entergy, including their Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Patty Riddlebarger, sat around a table in a windowless conference room high up in Entergy’s downtown New Orleans headquarters. Together, they hatched the plan for Bike to Work Day 2011, the first-ever formal “Bike to Work Day” in Greater New Orleans!
Seven years later, Entergy and Bike Easy are still at it! While many things have changed over the years, the principles and values remain unchanged.
Back in 2011, Entergy was looking for a way to celebrate the progress being made towards better bicycling while encouraging more people to get out and experience our region by bicycle, and this fit Bike Easy’s mission perfectly. Seven years later, this is still the case.
After Hurricane Katrina, Entergy decided to invest in improving the health and prosperity of the region by supporting the development of more bike lanes throughout New Orleans. Specifically, through a partnership with the Louisiana Public Health Institute, Entergy helped fund a position embedded in the New Orleans Department of Public Works that could focus on bikeway and pedestrian-oriented design – a crucial piece to rebuilding our roadways that wasn’t funded via disaster recovery support.
By 2011, the burgeoning network of bikeways was becoming evident, and more people than ever were riding bikes in New Orleans! What better way to help mark the occasion while simultaneously building momentum than Bike to Work Day? Clearly, Entergy and Bike Easy had landed on a winning idea — it’s continued to grow for the last seven years!
After four years of growing Bike to Work Day to include bike trains from all over town, a breakfast meetup downtown, happy hour, and associated lead-up events, in 2015, we expanded to Bike to Work Week and added Community Forums and our own homespun Bike to Work Challenge throughout the week.
Last year, we graduated to the month-long Bike Easy Challenge with Bike to Work Day as the marquis event. This year, we’ve also added Bike to Worship Weekend. The Bike Easy Challenge is a free, friendly competition that encourages more people to try riding a bike. Ride anywhere anytime for just 10 minutes to participate and be eligible for prizes. To win as a team, the best way to earn points is to encourage more people to participate and to get new riders rolling. Register for the Bike Easy Challenge at www.lovetoride.net/bikeeasy.
And we’ve still got a lot to celebrate! Over 125 miles of bikeways in the City, a vibrant and growing bicycle community, a new bike share system, and numerous initiatives and efforts focused on improving our region through better bicycling. We’ve also got lots of remaining work to tackle some of the biggest remaining challenges – like getting across bridges over the Industrial Canal or I-10 by bicycle, connecting the region’s trail networks, and ensuring health equity by properly distributing investments in better biking. Bike Easy is excited to have Entergy as a partner in creating the momentum needed to improve bicycling and move our region forward.
Just as in all the years past, the Bike Easy Challenge and Bike to Work Day are presented by Entergy and organized by Bike Easy. Even as we’ve added more sponsors and partners to build the events, Entergy’s leadership role remains crucial to the success of Bike to Work Day, the Bike Easy Challenge, and the bicycling movement.
Come join us in the movement to create a healthy, prosperous, and resilient region through better bicycling! See you tomorrow for Bike to Work Day 2018.