• Jack Cullen
  • Wed December 21 2016
  • Posted Jan 2, 2017

The League of American Bicyclists recognized the Quad-City Times on Wednesday by adding the news organization to its list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses.

The Times, which applied in October, received a bronze designation, making it the third business in the Quad-City area to receive the title from the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization.

Earlier this year, the Times brought in Quad-City cycling experts to lead a commuter-safety training, and offered incentives for employees who participated in National Bike to Work Week.

Autumn Phillips, executive editor of the Times, who frequently rode her bicycle to work during the summer and early fall, said the building-wide effort "involved a lot of employees who wanted to amplify and expand a great part of our workplace culture.

"I hope it sends a message to talented future employees that this is a great place to work that values and promotes a green, healthy lifestyle," she said.

Additionally on Wednesday, vocational welding students at Davenport West High School delivered a new steel bicycle rack to the newspaper at 500 E. 3rd Street on their last day of school before winter break.

The Times hired the student craftsmen, who began the steel fabrication work in the spring, to help improve its on-site infrastructure for cyclists.

Ben Jacobs, building services manager, installed the piece on the south side of the building, and plans to bolt a separate rack to the fixture next spring to accommodate more bicycles.

Arconic Davenport Works, formerly known as Alcoa, in Riverdale, and Cobham Mission Systems in Davenport, hold the only other bicycle friendly business designations in the Quad-City area. The Times is the 29th business to be recognized in Iowa.

In early October, an employee of the Quad-City Times fell off his bike in a construction zone near the intersection of Brady and Locust streets in Davenport during his commute home from work.

Michael Liendo, a digital storyteller in the newsroom who wasn't wearing his helmet at the time of the crash, suffered a concussion and several facial lacerations and scrapes, which required 37 stitches. The accident also destroyed his bicycle, the 28-year-old's primary source of transportation.

Prior to the incident, colleagues encouraged Liendo to wear a helmet when riding. When he returned to work after recovery, they reinforced that message. Times reporter Thomas Geyer also lent Liendo a spare bicycle to use in the meantime, a generous offering Liendo shared with the League of American Bicyclists.

"Other employees offered to fix the one I had and we joked about the countless, 'I told you you should've worn a helmet,' moments that I always seemed to shrug off," Liendo said. "My point is that there is a real community here that is excited about biking to work."






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