Standing Stone Brewing Company

commuter bikes

Biking and Work: a Perfect Pairing in September

September means many things for Ashland, Oregon; students are going back to school, trees are changing colors, and fall is beginning to ease in as summer sneaks out.  Standing Stone welcomes the season with the Bike Commute Challenge. The annual cycling challenge takes place during September (Oregon’s Bike to Work Month) and encourages companies, schools and individuals across the state to commute with two wheels.

It’s a call to action by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, our regional cycling advocates. The BTA’s goal is to increase health of our state, while decreasing transportation and health care costs, by commuting to work every day.  Over 228 schools participated in 2011 and the BTA helped obtain over 1,100 signatures for Portland’s bike sharing program.  1,400 workplaces participated, with 12,000 riders (including, of course, Standing Stone Brewing Co.).  We even got featured as an inspirational picture of the week!

Currently, Standing Stone boasts 500 miles biked by employees, with over 150 round trips in just the last three weeks!  Our very own Josh Nielsen leads the pack with over 105.6 miles logged.  Nice work, Josh!  Employees also get to enter in a raffle for every day they bike to work to win prizes at the end of each week.  And of course, there is a grand prize winner at the end.

Why do we participate in the Bike Commute Challenge every year? Well, that’s easy: we care about the health and well-being of our community and employees.  Standing Stone’s commuter bike program is in its fifth year and we’re always looking for new ways to increase employees’ health and happiness.  In fact, we’re starting a new employee wellness program at the end of the month – keep an eye out for more info soon!

As is tradition, we also tapped our annual September seasonal ale, the Commuter Gold in honor bikebeertshirtof Bike to Work Month.  Be sure to check out information on this refreshing beer and stop by to try it for yourself. When you’re in, you’ll see our coworkers wearing Standing Stone bike tees all week in celebration of the Challenge. We hope to see your bike out front with ours on the big, yellow rack soon!

Saddle Up for Bike Commute Challenge in September

Every September we get in gear with biking events at Standing Stone Brewing Co. Our motivation this month stems from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Bike Commute Challenge, encouraging employees at workplaces all over Oregon to bike to work and log collective miles. We participate annually and come up with a few incentives and events of our own to make September one of the best biking months of the year!commuter bike

Here’s how the Bike Commute Challenge works: Anyone can register their workplace for free at Participating employees log their trips and miles on an online calendar, which keeps track of totals and automatically enters members into weekly drawings. Businesses and groups can challenge each other to log the most miles, and at the end of the month the BTA ranks businesses by percentage of bike commutes and announces the winning companies at a big After Party in Portland in October.

We have all our Standing Stone Commuter-riding coworkers signed up, and bike teewe’re celebrating in a few ways of our own, too. For the month of September you’ll see brewery servers in our signature “Powered By Beer” bike tees. Come get one of your own to show your love of biking and beer! We’re also holding a weekly in-house raffle for employees who ride round-trip to work, and throwing a big grand prize drawing at the end of the month. Sorry, fans, employees only!

We’re also thrilled to announce we have seven new bikes coming to employees this week. These coworkers have been with Standing Stone for the minimum 1,000 total hours and promise to ride their new Trek bikes to and from the brewpub at least 45 times in the first year. After that, the bike is theirs to keep. This brings our total fleet to 57 bikes, growing from just 17 when we launched the program in 2009.

Lastly, our chef, Eric Bell, has recently been trained as a League of Americanbike rack Bicyclists certified instructor. All our new Standing Stone Commuter bike recipients will go through a required training with Eric later this month, and all employees wanting a refresher course will join the group as well. We’re looking forward to having on-site knowledge about safe biking practices and we’ll be sure to tap Eric’s brain for tips and ideas for biking around town.

Join in the fun by biking with us all month long! September weather makes for great riding conditions almost any time of day, and our latest specialty beer – Commuters Gold Ale – makes a great finish to any biking trip. We think the physical, psychological and environmental benefits of commuting by bike make it the preferred method of transportation for our coworkers, so expect to see lots of us two-wheeling it to and from the brewpub and using the big, yellow bike rack out front.

By in Employees & Partners 0

Year One at Standing Stone: Guest Post by Nick Blakeslee

This week we’re featuring a guest post from Standing Stone server and bartender, Nick Blakeslee. Nick recently hit the one-year mark at Standing Stone and took the time to reflect and jot his thoughts down for all of us to enjoy. Take it away, Nick!

It’s hard to put to words; to encapsulate a 365 day period in single piece of writing. Where nick blakesleedo I begin? I have a hard time deciding which moments are most important in regards to working at Standing Stone, because so much has happened in the last year. I suppose I’ll start at the end. I’ll Tarentino it.

Last week, I received my Standing Stone commuter bike.  Standing Stone provides a bicycle to all employees who have worked over 1000 hours. Essentially, it’s a way to provide an incentive to employees who bike to work, and it works. My previous bike had kicked the bucket six months prior, and the summer weather was just beginning to show its  lovely face. So imagine my excitement when I entered work on a Tuesday afternoon and saw a flashy new bike with my initials decaled on it.

I have never owned a commuter style bike, only road bikes and weird, disheveled, deformed mountain/roadbike hybrids. You know the kind, the commuter bikeone’s you get growing up that only have, like, three and a half working gears, are made of solid steel, and cost your parents like $23 at a garage sale? Well, I was never really known for my growth spurts, or for growing in general really, so my parents were rather efficient with their purchase of bikes for me growing up. I was only given one gear-bike as a child, and I rode that until I was twelve or thirteen, then inherited my sister’s “unisex” bike when I was fifteen. There were very brief moments during that time frame when the bike actually fit me. When I went to college, I borrowed a friend’s bike – a 6’4” friend’s bike. I had to put the seat at its lowest setting, and even then it probably looked like a circus act. After moving to Ashland, I purchased an old-school 1970’s Puegot and rode that around until its untimely demise last winter.

Comfort and size were never on my radar with bikes. I always took what I couldsiskiyou challenge team and used it. The new commuter I received was the first bike that was my size. It fits me and is built for comfort. I feel like I’m riding around on a luxury vehicle; this thing glides around like butter in a hot frying pan. It’s like a Cadillac Escalade of bikes, really. Like, an Escabike. Or Bike-illac. Or Cadibike-alade. Or maybe Bescalade? Yes, I like that.

Bescalade. Maybe I’ll get that decaled on the side of it.

Furthermore, everyone in Ashland seems to know what it means. Half a dozen people have congratulated me or ogled at it. One person seemed to think that I was paid to ride around on a bike smothered in Standing Stone decals. Not a bad idea, but I don’t think management would go for it.

Regardless, I feel like a sort of minor celebrity – a minor actor – when I ride around; no one huge, like Brad Pitt or Joseph Gordon Levitt, mind you. But rather, a really recognizable extra in a TV series that dies after three episodes, or maybe that one guy that seems to appear in every commercial on a particular day. The celebrity status only seems to add to the Bescalade name.

By in Community, Events 0

Cycling into Fall with Bike Commuting All September Long

We can think of tons of great reasons to commute by bicycle year-round: fresh air, good exercise, sustainable transportation and just plain fun all make the list. This September, we’re cranking up our bill of biking incentives even more. We’re hopping on board with lots of local and state events, and encouraging our employees to ride for prize drawings, in-house competitions and gift certificates.

Here’s what rolling in this month:

We just brought on our latest round of Standing Stone Commuter Bikes for another nine great employees. With our Bike Program, team members who have worked over 1,000 hours at Standing Stone become eligible for a free bike, and in turn promise to ride it to and from the brewery at least 45 times in the next year. We’re delighted to see these folks jump on their new two-wheeled transportation around town.

September 12th and 13th Ashland welcomes Cycle Oregon and the over 2,000 cycle enthusiasts staying in town. Cycle Oregon offers participating athletes a mix of road riding and tent camping as the event moves from town to town around the state, enjoying both beautiful and challenging terrain along the way. We’re welcoming the bikers to the area with extra bicycle racks in front of our restaurant, to serve as a hub for downtown bike parking. We hope to see these racks full of from local biking buffs and visitors alike!

Every September we cheerfully participate in the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s (BTA) Annual Bike Commute Challenge. Employees sign up for our Standing Stone team and we collectively track all the bike trips and miles we roll in throughout the entire month. Teams and individuals from all over the state challenge each other to bike commute the most and are entered in weekly prize drawings. With over 50 Standing Stone Commuter Bikes in the hands of our employees, and lots more bike-lovers with their own two-wheelers, we’re excited to trek more miles than ever before! You can sign up, too, either as an individual or as a team on the BTA’s website. Happy riding!

On September 22nd we’re racing in the 3rd Annual Siskiyou Challenge Multi-Sport Relay Race. This scenic and challenging competition supports Rogue Valley Farm to School, one of our favorite local nonprofits. We’ll be biking, kayaking and running our way to the finish line where Standing Stone fare and brews await all the participants in Lithia Park. Be on the look-out for stand-out Standing Stone athletes, as we have our own in-house contest for best team uniforms. Learn more about the race, resister your own team or sign up to volunteer on the race website.

For the month of September our employees are trading in car fuel for food! For every mile our cyclists commute to work and record the distance on the Bike Commute Challenge website, Standing Stone is giving money toward a gift certificate for each employee at the end of the month. Standing Stone bikers are also entering their names into a drawing for every round trip they make to and from the restaurant or farm. At the end of the month we’ll pull names for gift certificates to local outdoor retailers and the Ashland Food Co Op.

We hope to see mobs of cyclists around Ashland all month long. Remember, we’ve got downtown bike parking right out front of the brewpub on Oak Street, so stop in, enjoy a pint and a bite, and let us know what gets you motivated to bike commute!