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Re: Shower at workplace

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  • Malcolm.Parry@durham.ac.uk
    Dear Corey CAn you pull the how much does it cost to provide a parking space for the car I won t use? line? In the UK, these are costed at $3000 each.
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 18, 1994
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      Dear Corey

      CAn you pull the "how much does it cost to provide a parking
      space for the car I won't use?" line? In the UK, these are costed at
      $3000 each. Otherwise, health and safety - what if you get
      contaminated at work? Last resort - do pull rank - it is sometimes
      the only way and what is a heirarchical system for...

      Good luck - I failed here in the UK to get a shower in ou new
      building so I take the train to work with the bike and ride home.

      Malcolm Parry

      To: carfree@onelist.com, chainguard@onelist.com, commute-logistics@...
      Date sent: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 19:23:20 -0800 (PST)
      From: Corey Dyck <corey_dyck@...>
      Send reply to: CarFree@onelist.com
      Subject: [CarFree] Shower at workplace

      > From: Corey Dyck <corey_dyck@...>
      >
      >
      > Hi, sorry about the crosspost, but I figured there would be no better way
      > to get a lot of info and opinions than to involve a number of parties.
      > I've been a lurker on these three lists (chainguard, car-free, and
      > commute-logistics) for a while now, and I figure you can help me out in my
      > situation.
      >
      > I'm a production engineer for a small (20 employees) medical manufacturing
      > company in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Currently, I'm in the process of
      > setting the details for our new 5000 square foot production facility in
      > the south end of the city. I, being a regular bike commuter, have made a
      > request for a single shower to be put in one of the two stand-alone
      > bathrooms.
      >
      > This request was initially greeted with enthusiasm, but the building
      > owners have suggested to our operations manager that we would require
      > changing and locker rooms if the shower were placed in the building. Our
      > operations manager has since decided that in no way can we have a shower
      > stall in our facility. It has suddenly become a very tense subject, with
      > very blunt "No shower!" and "There is ample vehicle parking space" replies
      > to any questions I ask.
      >
      > The questions I have are:
      >
      > -Am I just wasting my breath? Is this a reasonable request?
      > -Is there any way I can convince him that a shower will be beneficial to
      > all employees? He is a cyclist himself, but definitely not a
      > transportational cyclist (new term?).
      > -What arguments (building standards, common trends among other companies)
      > can I utilize to promote this addition? We have yet to build the
      > bathrooms and pour the cement, so it will be very easy to modify the plans
      > at this point. It will be difficult and expensive to add later.
      > -The V.P. of the company thinks it is a great idea to put a shower in our
      > facility, but I don't want to pull rank on anybody. Would it be
      > reasonable to get him to step in? He is not moving with us,
      > unfortunately.
      >
      > Some other random background info that might help;
      > -we use various glues in small amounts, enough to require two eyewash
      > stations
      > -there is a paint spraying process that one worker is exposed to
      > -I am currently the only cyclist riding to work (and the first for this
      > company)
      > -my commute would be approximately 11 km (7 miles)
      > -there is bus service (approx. 1-hour ride, sporadic service) with a
      > fifteen minute walk
      > -I'm usually working in an office setting
      > -the president is a physiotherapist who would probably encourage employees
      > riding to work (same pulling rank problem?)
      >
      >
      > Do you have any suggestions for dealing with this situation? Has anyone
      > you know gone through this same process?
      >
      > Thanks in advance for any help you can offer,
      >
      > Corey Dyck
      > corey_dyck@...
      > Desperately trying to stay car-free in Winnipeg, MB
      >
      >
      > __________________________________________________
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    • Corey Dyck
      Hi, sorry about the crosspost, but I figured there would be no better way to get a lot of info and opinions than to involve a number of parties. I ve been a
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 17, 2000
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        Hi, sorry about the crosspost, but I figured there would be no better way
        to get a lot of info and opinions than to involve a number of parties.
        I've been a lurker on these three lists (chainguard, car-free, and
        commute-logistics) for a while now, and I figure you can help me out in my
        situation.

        I'm a production engineer for a small (20 employees) medical manufacturing
        company in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Currently, I'm in the process of
        setting the details for our new 5000 square foot production facility in
        the south end of the city. I, being a regular bike commuter, have made a
        request for a single shower to be put in one of the two stand-alone
        bathrooms.

        This request was initially greeted with enthusiasm, but the building
        owners have suggested to our operations manager that we would require
        changing and locker rooms if the shower were placed in the building. Our
        operations manager has since decided that in no way can we have a shower
        stall in our facility. It has suddenly become a very tense subject, with
        very blunt "No shower!" and "There is ample vehicle parking space" replies
        to any questions I ask.

        The questions I have are:

        -Am I just wasting my breath? Is this a reasonable request?
        -Is there any way I can convince him that a shower will be beneficial to
        all employees? He is a cyclist himself, but definitely not a
        transportational cyclist (new term?).
        -What arguments (building standards, common trends among other companies)
        can I utilize to promote this addition? We have yet to build the
        bathrooms and pour the cement, so it will be very easy to modify the plans
        at this point. It will be difficult and expensive to add later.
        -The V.P. of the company thinks it is a great idea to put a shower in our
        facility, but I don't want to pull rank on anybody. Would it be
        reasonable to get him to step in? He is not moving with us,
        unfortunately.

        Some other random background info that might help;
        -we use various glues in small amounts, enough to require two eyewash
        stations
        -there is a paint spraying process that one worker is exposed to
        -I am currently the only cyclist riding to work (and the first for this
        company)
        -my commute would be approximately 11 km (7 miles)
        -there is bus service (approx. 1-hour ride, sporadic service) with a
        fifteen minute walk
        -I'm usually working in an office setting
        -the president is a physiotherapist who would probably encourage employees
        riding to work (same pulling rank problem?)


        Do you have any suggestions for dealing with this situation? Has anyone
        you know gone through this same process?

        Thanks in advance for any help you can offer,

        Corey Dyck
        corey_dyck@...
        Desperately trying to stay car-free in Winnipeg, MB


        __________________________________________________
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        Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.
        http://im.yahoo.com
      • Al Raden
        I think it is a very reasonable request. As you indicated, they ve not yet poured concrete, so the cost would be much less than doing it later. I m in Boca
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 18, 2000
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          I think it is a very reasonable request. As you indicated, they've not yet poured concrete, so the
          cost would be much less than doing it later. I'm in Boca Raton Florida, and there is a law being
          discussed at the local level which would require showers for all new office construction or major
          renovation.

          That being said, I commute about 5-1/2 miles in the hot, humid South Florida weather, and don't have
          shower facilities at work It's amazing what you can do with a wet washcloth and a bit of alcohol
          (rubbing, not drinking).

          As for pulling rank, that's what contacts are for. Whenever I've pulled rank in the past, I've
          always told my immediate supervisor that I was doing so to prevent him/her from being blindsided.
          Explain that it's not personal, it's just something you feel strongly about.

          - al

          Malcolm.Parry@... wrote:

          > From: Malcolm.Parry@...
          >
          > Dear Corey
          >
          > CAn you pull the "how much does it cost to provide a parking
          > space for the car I won't use?" line? In the UK, these are costed at
          > $3000 each. Otherwise, health and safety - what if you get
          > contaminated at work? Last resort - do pull rank - it is sometimes
          > the only way and what is a heirarchical system for...
          >
          > Good luck - I failed here in the UK to get a shower in ou new
          > building so I take the train to work with the bike and ride home.
          >
          > Malcolm Parry
          >
          > To: carfree@onelist.com, chainguard@onelist.com, commute-logistics@...
          > Date sent: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 19:23:20 -0800 (PST)
          > From: Corey Dyck <corey_dyck@...>
          > Send reply to: CarFree@onelist.com
          > Subject: [CarFree] Shower at workplace
          >
          > > From: Corey Dyck <corey_dyck@...>
          > >
          > >
          > > Hi, sorry about the crosspost, but I figured there would be no better way
          > > to get a lot of info and opinions than to involve a number of parties.
          > > I've been a lurker on these three lists (chainguard, car-free, and
          > > commute-logistics) for a while now, and I figure you can help me out in my
          > > situation.
          > >
          > > I'm a production engineer for a small (20 employees) medical manufacturing
          > > company in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Currently, I'm in the process of
          > > setting the details for our new 5000 square foot production facility in
          > > the south end of the city. I, being a regular bike commuter, have made a
          > > request for a single shower to be put in one of the two stand-alone
          > > bathrooms.
          > >
          > > This request was initially greeted with enthusiasm, but the building
          > > owners have suggested to our operations manager that we would require
          > > changing and locker rooms if the shower were placed in the building. Our
          > > operations manager has since decided that in no way can we have a shower
          > > stall in our facility. It has suddenly become a very tense subject, with
          > > very blunt "No shower!" and "There is ample vehicle parking space" replies
          > > to any questions I ask.
          > >
          > > The questions I have are:
          > >
          > > -Am I just wasting my breath? Is this a reasonable request?
          > > -Is there any way I can convince him that a shower will be beneficial to
          > > all employees? He is a cyclist himself, but definitely not a
          > > transportational cyclist (new term?).
          > > -What arguments (building standards, common trends among other companies)
          > > can I utilize to promote this addition? We have yet to build the
          > > bathrooms and pour the cement, so it will be very easy to modify the plans
          > > at this point. It will be difficult and expensive to add later.
          > > -The V.P. of the company thinks it is a great idea to put a shower in our
          > > facility, but I don't want to pull rank on anybody. Would it be
          > > reasonable to get him to step in? He is not moving with us,
          > > unfortunately.
          > >
          > > Some other random background info that might help;
          > > -we use various glues in small amounts, enough to require two eyewash
          > > stations
          > > -there is a paint spraying process that one worker is exposed to
          > > -I am currently the only cyclist riding to work (and the first for this
          > > company)
          > > -my commute would be approximately 11 km (7 miles)
          > > -there is bus service (approx. 1-hour ride, sporadic service) with a
          > > fifteen minute walk
          > > -I'm usually working in an office setting
          > > -the president is a physiotherapist who would probably encourage employees
          > > riding to work (same pulling rank problem?)
          > >
          > >
          > > Do you have any suggestions for dealing with this situation? Has anyone
          > > you know gone through this same process?
          > >
          > > Thanks in advance for any help you can offer,
          > >
          > > Corey Dyck
          > > corey_dyck@...
          > > Desperately trying to stay car-free in Winnipeg, MB
          > >
          > >
          > > __________________________________________________
          > > Do You Yahoo!?
          > > Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.
          > > http://im.yahoo.com
          > >
          > > --------------------------- ONElist Sponsor ----------------------------
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          > >
          > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          > >
          > > Community email addresses:
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          > > Subscribe: CarFree-subscribe@onelist.com
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          > > List owner: CarFree-owner@onelist.com
          > >
          > > Shortcut URL to this page:
          > > http://www.onelist.com/community/CarFree
          > >
          > >
          >
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        • Whitney Turner
          Here s a true story - the names have been changed to annoy the inquisitive. ... Subject: Re: Ped/Bike Research s cost comparison of Boca showers Date: Thu, 35
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 18, 2000
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            Here's a true story - the names have been changed to annoy the inquisitive.

            ---
            Subject:
            Re: Ped/Bike Research's cost comparison of Boca showers
            Date:
            Thu, 35 Jan 1900 25:19:66 -0800
            From:
            SuperAdvocate <SA@...>
            To:
            Bike Friendly Guy <GovtBoy@...>




            Perhaps the relevant number to consider is the difference in cost between
            installing a shower and installing a toilet. Let's face it - the number of
            toilets required in a facility is only loosely related to the number of
            people in the building. (When was the last time you had to wait for a
            toilet where you work?) Perhaps developers should be allowed to substitute
            one shower for one toilet in facilities over a certain size?

            My employer (who shall remain a nameless cellular phone manufacturer
            headquartered near Chicago) recently installed showers and lockers in the
            facility in which I work, and the entire process reminded me of the cartoon
            showing the process by which a swing is installed on a tree branch. You
            know the one:
            As designed - wooden swing hanging by ropes from the tree branch
            As sold - triple-decker wooden swing seat (sit on top board and the other
            two are useless)
            As installed - wooden swing with one rope tied to a branch on the left of
            the trunk, one tied on the right
            As retrofitted by field engineering - trunk of tree is cut out so that
            swing can move freely; top of tree is supported by wooden crutches left
            and right
            What the kids really wanted - old tire swinging on a single rope from a branch.

            Anyway, the process at our facility went a little like this:
            Phase One - Someone (an _extremely_ nameless cycling advocate who works at
            our facility) proposes showers and lockers for joggers, cyclists, Ultimate
            Frisbee fans, softball teams, etc. (We have sports fields at our
            facility.) A sympathetic Human Resources associate starts looking at the
            different bathrooms to locate a suitable one, and starts working with
            Facilities to work up a cost estimate. Research determines that several
            other facilities of nameless manufacturer (even in such inhospitable
            terrain and climates as (gasp!) Massachusetts and Arizona) have showers;
            one other facility (in Florida or Illinois - I forget) has a shower which
            is currently being used as a storage closet.

            Phase Two - Somehow, one shower per gender is deemed inadequate; we must
            have four, and locker space to go with it. Cost estimate rises to
            approximately $80,000 ($10K per stall); advocates blanch a little, but the
            project looks like it will get funded, so shut up and enjoy the ride. At
            the last moment, the selected restrooms are removed entirely in order to
            make way for production space expansion. (I believe the loss of toilets
            was compensated for elsewhere.)

            Phase Three - We now need a Wellness Facility. HR advocate has changed
            from full-time HR to half-time Wellness Coordinator. Cost has risen to
            $200,000 to completely renovate a corner of the building. Nameless
            advocates begin to mutter about buying a house in the neighborhood (hey, we
            could even have barbecues and pool parties for that price!) and wonder if
            there will ever be a facility in our lifetime.

            Phase Four - The Wellness Facility now includes Health Services and a Day
            Care center. Cost is over a million dollars (estimated), but it's rolled
            into a major facilities expansion, so adding the wellness part of the
            expansion looks like rounding error on the total project. There are four
            showers per gender, with 20 half-length lockers or so, weight training
            room, aerobics room, additional (car) parking, professional staff, and
            organized classes (including a "spinning" class). Construction of the
            entire expansion is a two-year ordeal. When completed, senior management
            is proud of the wellness facility, noting that the day care and wellness
            center contribute to company image as a "premier employer."

            Phase Five - Business group of at least one nameless advocate is scheduled
            to be transferred out of building to leased building over five miles away.
            Initial floor plans for leased building do not show any shower facilities.
            Non-cyclists in charge of floor plans suggest to senior management that at
            times (such as during recent Y2K non-crisis) it is useful to have showers
            in the facility. Rumor has it that floor plan of leased building now has
            showers.

            The moral of the story: never give up. This project took more than five
            years, and really only got going as part of a larger project. Obviously,
            an ordinance such as the one Boca is considering would make showers
            automatic once the expansion was funded, though my progressive employer
            funded the wellness center voluntarily.

            Moral number two: If you think you can do it alone, seek professional help
            (pun intended). Part-time advocates are never a substitute for full-time
            advocates. My employer was forward-thinking enough to fund a part-time
            position in HR to work on general "wellness" issues, of which this project
            was a part. The wellness coordinator's influence far outweighed that of
            the informal advocates, in part because management felt the coordinator was
            easier to work with, took a more balanced view, was more open to management
            guidance, you choose your expression here, etc., unlike those wild-eyed
            "bike fanatics" who just would not shut up....

            Moral number three: The first shower is the hardest one. I will never
            know, but I like to believe that the showers rumored to be in the leased
            facility were put there in part because management knew that the showers in
            the main facility were important to at least some employees. The use of
            the wellness facility, now that it's in, is visible to all. (Note that
            lack of use would be equally visible!)

            I also think the process was easier for my employer because they own the
            building; the Boca ordinance will provide an appropriate incentive for
            leased office space as well. (I think it would be difficult for landlords
            or tenants to negotiate this kind of facility upgrade on their own - the
            landlord can't tell whether his or her tenants will value the improvement,
            and an enthusiastic tenant may have trouble convincing the landlord that
            future tenants will value it as well.)

            In addition, I think the process at my employer shows that cost is not
            always the issue; many times, the managers are considering showers in a
            larger context of overall employee health or ability to recruit top
            employees. When you consider that building costs for medium-quality office
            space runs about $100/square foot, a $1.2M expansion (of 12,500 square
            feet) makes even a $40,000 shower facility look relatively minor. An
            ordinance such as Boca's will make the cost issue more or less disappear -
            you don't hear people complaining about how many toilets they had to put
            in, how they had to spend extra to meet the HVAC code, etc. - but if the
            facility isn't used, people will consider the showers wasted space.
            (Remember the shower used as a closet that I mentioned above.)

            Finally, such an ordinance may discourage landlords from considering
            expansions if the cost of all the required improvements is too high. In my
            opinion, showers are an investment worth making, but not all landlords
            would agree with me, as I'm sure we will hear when the Boca ordinance is
            discussed.

            SuperAdvocate
            Fort Lauderdale, Florida

            --
            Every time I see an adult on a bicycle,
            I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
            --H.G. Wells
          • David Hansen
            ... Some of these ideas may or may not be suitable in your situation. 1) The most successful companies are people companies. Switched on companies don t sell
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 18, 2000
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              On 17 Feb 00, at 19:23, Corey Dyck wrote:

              > Currently, I'm in
              > the process of setting the details for our new 5000 square foot
              > production facility in the south end of the city. I, being a regular
              > bike commuter, have made a request for a single shower to be put in one
              > of the two stand-alone bathrooms.

              Some of these ideas may or may not be suitable in your situation.

              1) The most successful companies are people companies. Switched on
              companies don't sell widgets, they build up relationships with
              customers and staff. They want their staff to be happy and go to some
              lengths to accomodate the individual wants of employees. If the staff
              want to come in on bikes and drink coffee all day that's fine, the
              company makes arrangements to accomodate this.

              2) Do the company think you are valuable? This assumes they are not
              switched on. If you are valuable, do they want to loose your services?

              3) Is these some sort of Green Transport Plan in the area? If so then
              the local authority will probably be looking for examples of good
              practice. They may even pay some or all the costs of creating a good
              example.

              4) How well do you know the Vice President? If at all then a gentle
              word in their ear, off the record, may well be a good idea.





              David Hansen | davidh@... | PGP email preferred
              Edinburgh | CI$ number 100024,3247 | key number F566DA0E
            • Peter Saint James
              ... Yes, it is reasonable. If I were in your situation, I would look for the situation in other cities where such facilities are required. In Portland,
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 19, 2000
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                >This request was initially greeted with enthusiasm, but the building
                >owners have suggested to our operations manager that we would require
                >changing and locker rooms if the shower were placed in the building. Our
                >operations manager has since decided that in no way can we have a shower
                >stall in our facility. It has suddenly become a very tense subject, with
                >very blunt "No shower!" and "There is ample vehicle parking space" replies
                >to any questions I ask.
                >
                >The questions I have are:
                >
                >-Am I just wasting my breath? Is this a reasonable request?


                Yes, it is reasonable.

                If I were in your situation, I would look for the situation in other
                cities where such facilities are required. In Portland, Oregon, USA, if
                such facilities are not required by code they are strongly encouraged. You
                might inquire of the Bureau of Buildings in Portland and see what their
                experience and specs are.

                You might also check with building inspection people in your city.
                If they do not require this now, they might in the future. They should be
                thinking about it. See what they have to say. You might come up with
                information that may tell your company that it is cheaper to do this now
                than in the future.

                You might also impress on them that within a few years, many, many
                more people could well be biking to work. We should encounter a major gas
                crisis within a few years that one US energy official descibed as making
                those of the 1970s look "trivial by comparison." This is one way the
                company can prepare in advance very economically and perhaps make it through
                such a crisis more easily.

                In short, your proposal is looking toward their future. Their ideas
                are looking at the past. Make it look good to them for reasons that they value.

                Peter Saint James
              • Pedalers Express
                Corey, I m in a similar situation. I run a small one-man cargo bicycle courier service here in Chapel Hill / Carrboro, NC, and I m planning on renting some
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 20, 2000
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                  Corey,

                  I'm in a similar situation. I run a small one-man cargo bicycle courier
                  service here in Chapel Hill / Carrboro, NC, and I'm planning on renting
                  some office space in a planned business incubator (cheap rent, shared
                  facilities, business support) in the fall. The building is not built yet
                  and I requested a shower in one of the bathrooms and got some initial
                  positive feedback only to be told this last week that it couldn't happen.
                  It sure would have helped me through these Carolina summers. And I know
                  others would appreciate it as well. I'm not sure how much to push it at
                  this point. I just wish it was standard practice.

                  I am on a newly formed Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board for the town
                  and we are starting to develop our list of criteria for the various
                  development plans we will be reviewing. I think showers in larger
                  employment centers will be part of our recommendations. Is there any
                  similar group in your town? This is the only thought I now have on how to
                  get this kind of thing done. My other thought for your situation is to
                  try to get some other employees on board with you, even if they won't be
                  bike commuters. Power in numbers kind of thing. . .

                  Good luck, and let me know if you get any good advice.

                  Seth

                  ________________________________________________________________
                  YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET!
                  Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
                  Try it today - there's no risk! For your FREE software, visit:
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                • David Hansen
                  ... Good idea. Perhaps others will come by other means, such as skating or jogging. Cars can be the worst thing of all to travel in, with a sweaty back after a
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 21, 2000
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                    On 20 Feb 00, at 12:41, Pedalers Express wrote:

                    > My other thought for your situation is
                    > to try to get some other employees on board with you, even if they won't
                    > be bike commuters. Power in numbers kind of thing. . .

                    Good idea. Perhaps others will come by other means, such as skating or
                    jogging. Cars can be the worst thing of all to travel in, with a sweaty
                    back after a short time. Perhaps car based travellers would appreciate
                    a shower.


                    David Hansen | davidh@... | PGP email preferred
                    Edinburgh | CI$ number 100024,3247 | key number F566DA0E
                  • Neil Baker
                    Tell the others it might be handy to have a shower at work if they lose water or power at home. Neil Baker Why do I ride my bike to work? Because I can! ...
                    Message 9 of 9 , Feb 22, 2000
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                      Tell the others it might be handy to have a shower at
                      work if they lose water or power at home.

                      Neil Baker
                      Why do I ride my bike to work?
                      Because I can!


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "David Hansen" <davidh@...>
                      To: <CarFree@onelist.com>
                      Sent: Monday, February 21, 2000 3:15 AM
                      Subject: Re: [CarFree] Re: Shower at workplace


                      > From: "David Hansen" <davidh@...>
                      >
                      > On 20 Feb 00, at 12:41, Pedalers Express wrote:
                      >
                      > > My other thought for your situation is
                      > > to try to get some other employees on board with you, even if they won't
                      > > be bike commuters. Power in numbers kind of thing. . .
                      >
                      > Good idea. Perhaps others will come by other means, such as skating or
                      > jogging. Cars can be the worst thing of all to travel in, with a sweaty
                      > back after a short time. Perhaps car based travellers would appreciate
                      > a shower.
                      >
                      >
                      > David Hansen | davidh@... | PGP email preferred
                      > Edinburgh | CI$ number 100024,3247 | key number F566DA0E
                      >
                      >
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