IKEA, the retailer of trendy put-it-together-yourself furniture (I hope that's right; I've never traded with 'em) has given every U.S. employee a surprise year-end bonus. Not cash, or a gift card - but a bicycle!
"We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport," said Mike Ward, IKEA US president.
Additional pro-bicycle propaganda on the press release:
Why a bike? Because when it comes to sustainable transport, a bicycle is a great option. And when it comes to healthy living, riding a bike is one of the best cardio forms of exercise. Here are some facts.
• Bicycling is an excellent cardio-vascular exercise, which promotes heart health.
• On average, commuting 10 miles a day by bike in 30 minutes, instead of driving a car burns 110,250 calories (keeping off 30 pounds of fat each year).
• Cycling just 20 miles a week can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.
• Countries with the highest levels of cycling and walking generally have the lowest obesity rates.
For Sustainable living, bicycling also has many benefits.
• Bicycling reduces polluting emissions. A short, four mile round trip by a bike keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe.
• In 2001 walking and bicycling accounted for 23 billion miles traveled, worth billions of dollars in fuel savings alone.
• In one year, riding a bike versus owning and driving a car will save an individual $8,000 in gasoline and general car maintenance and insurance costs.
[The only point I'd take issue with is "commuting 10 miles a day in 30 minutes." 20mph is a little fast for a "commuting" pace, unless all their employees are very athletic.]