Chicago was recently named the sixth-most bikeable city in the country, according to a recent survey by Redfin. To celebrate the city’s bike-friendly designation and show its support for Chicago Bike Week, Havas Worldwide Chicago created a custom-made “Bike Desk” which will be riding the streets of Chicago from June 12-19 with the goal of inspiring people to ride their bikes and explore the city during the course of the workday.
#BikeDesk: Inspiring Desk Jockeys All Over the City to #EnjoyTheRide
“While it may sound like a crazy concept, one of our employees pitched the idea, and the more we talked about it, the more we were convinced that we had to build it,” said Jason Peterson, Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide, North America & Chicago.
Scott Rench, a Senior Art Director at Havas Chicago and daily commuter to downtown from Humboldt Park, came up with the idea of #BikeDesk to inspire people to embrace the city cycling experience. “I’m really passionate about biking, and I wanted to find a creative way to remind people that Chicago is a world-class city with the best art, architecture, parks and culture—literally steps away. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the daily grind: fighting traffic to get to work, dropping crumbs on your keyboard as you eat lunch while chained to your desk. But #BikeDesk is about inspiring people to slow down and find the time to be a tourist in our amazing town—whether commuting to and from work, or even during their lunch hour,” said Rench, who also has a biking-themed Tumblr called “Things I Saw on My Ride,” and previously created a video promoting a Chicago Bike Week two years ago.
#BikeDesk Events During Chicago Bike Week, June 12-19, 2015
In order to celebrate Chicago as a bike-friendly city and raise awareness for Chicago Bike Week, Scott Rench will be riding the roving #BikeDesk around various locations in downtown Chicago. Havas is inviting people to join in on the fun by posting photos of #BikeDesk on social media using the hashtag of the same name. Havas Chicago will also be hosting daily bike tours around the city to complement the official Bike Week festivities, including the Top Art and Culture Venues, Best Places to Instagram, and even a Secret Destination Ride with a treat awaiting riders at the end of the tour. People can follow the adventures of @BikeDesk on Instagram and Twitter, along with Havas Chicago’s social channels.
Chicago, Creativity and Culture: All a part of Havas’ DNA
“Our offices are located in River North, literally the heart of the city and the epicenter of art, culture and entertainment in Chicago. But even we sometimes get so busy with clients and deadlines and deliverables to step out of the day-to-day, even if just for a few minutes, to take advantage of all that the city has to offer,” said Paul Marobella, Chief Executive Officer, Havas Worldwide Chicago Group. “BikeDesk is not only a fun creative idea that celebrates Chicago Bike Week, it represents our culture as an agency. Our staff is young, active and completely immersed on the culture going on in the city. 80% of our employees live in city neighborhoods, and many commute to downtown via bike. This was an opportunity to amplify the great work the city is already doing to create innovative programs that support the biking community, while also injecting our own passion into the mix,” Marobella added.
The Quest to Be the #1 Biking City
The City of Chicago has invested a tremendous amount of money to build a thriving infrastructure to support the biking community in Chicago. In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Chicago had 1.3 percent of commuters bike to work, well above the 0.6 percent of workers who commute by bike nationally. A core driver of this growing biking culture is Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pledge to make Chicago the most bike-friendly city in the nation by adding hundreds of miles of physically protected bike lanes. The city currently hasmore than 200 miles of on-street bike paths, with that number growing every day thanks to numerous projects throughout the city spearheaded by the Chicago Department of Transportation. Beyond being a fast, fun, healthy, and affordable way to get around the city, the Mayor’s cycling initiative touts a host of broader benefits for urban dwellers, including reducing traffic congestion, promoting a cleaner environment, and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.