Posted on January 6, 2012

San Luis Obispo County: Diablo Canyon Team Bikes to Work to Improve Health, Environment

Last year, electrical engineers David Meyers and Garrett Otto began riding their bikes to work at Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

Diablo Canyon workers bike to work

Workers (and bike riders) at Diablo Canyon Power Plant (from left, David Meyers, Joshua Meharg, Dallas Adams, Kyle Milliken and Garrett Otto) have pedaled more than 10,000 miles to and from work.

Fellow employee Josh Meharg was so impressed that he joined their daily commute rides.

“David and Garret would come in to work charged up from their ride, full of energy, talking about the sunrise or something they had seen on the ride into work, and you can’t but help thinking, ’Yeah, that does sound kind of nice,’” Meharg said.

The bicycling team works for Enercon, which provides engineering and design services to PG&E. The team has now grown to five and, six months later, they logged their results:

  • They’ve pedaled more than 10,000 miles.
  • They’ve saved 426 gallons of gas, which would have cost more than $2,000.
  • They’ve reduced greenhouse gases by more than 8,000 pounds, reduced the amount of volatile organic compounds by nearly 9,000 pounds and reduced the amount of carbon monoxide by 37,000 pounds.

Of course, there are also major health benefits. The team has burned some 555,000 calories or the equivalent of 3,400 ice cream sandwiches.

“Despite being twice as old as some of these other guys, I’ve shed 10 pounds and my resting heart rate is better now than it was when I was 30,” said Enercon’s Kyle Milliken.

They log their miles at www.rideshare.org, which PG&E sponsors to help employees find ride share partners and to encourage alternative transportation. Users also earn points toward gift cards and discounts at stores and restaurants.

Meyers and Otto are avid bicyclists who compete as semi professional racers in events around San Luis Obispo County. Riding to work was a natural extension of their hobby. The riding group shows that anyone can make a difference—to improve their health and the environment. Their goal in 2012 is to pedal more than 20,000 miles.

“These guys took something they like to do, built some interest in it and now are starting to take that interest to the next level,” said Enercon’s Doug Whitson.

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"PG&E" refers to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.
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