Behind the Handlebars: Why Argo Employees Cycle

Argo employees hop on their bicycles to find that elusive work-life balance.

Jonathan Pool is one of many Argo employees who enjoys commuting to work by bike.

Do you kickstart your day on a bicycle? If so, you’re not alone. This year’s National Bike to Work Day on May 19 saw thousands of cyclists across the United States pull on their shorts, don their helmets and take to the streets. The day’s popularity reflects the many benefits of regular push-pedaling. Cycling is a way to find balance, prepare for new challenges, live sustainably and, above all, have fun.

Find balance on a bicycle

Biking to work is just another day at the office for some at Argo. Cycling fits in perfectly with Argo’s culture of health, wellness and sustainability. In the modern and fast-paced insurance environment, finding work-life balance is hard to achieve and even harder to maintain. Yet keeping that stability is important – both for success in the workplace and at home. Experts say cyclists are happier with their travel to work and more alert in the workplace, and they make far fewer errors than their driving counterparts.

Riding steady on a bicycle is one way Argo’s Jonathon Pool finds that elusive balance. The busy father and delegated underwriting authority manager pedals the six miles from home to work (and back) in London. “I feel alert, bright and in a very positive frame of mind.” He’s not alone. Mark Rose, senior vice president and chief investment officer in San Antonio, sold his car in December and bikes the five miles to and from work instead. Outside of his commute, he uses biking to stay healthy, too: “I usually ride around 150 miles per week for exercise.”

CEO Mark E. Watson III bikes when traveling for business. Pre-meeting exercise + sustainability + a quicker trip = win-win-win. And the thrill of riding no-handed doesn’t hurt either.

New perspectives from behind the handlebars

Cycling is also how these employees prepare for the rigors of business. Harvard Medical School is one of many institutions that stand behind the benefits of regular aerobic exercise for one’s body, metabolism and mind. These effects are realized at Argo, where cycling is used to relax after a busy work week and prepare for new challenges. “The impact on my energy cannot be overstated,” Pool said. A bicycle is a lightweight travel partner, too. Rose said, “I take a bike when I travel. I especially like California and England. Nothing makes you more productive on a work trip than a decent workout or two.” Pool and Rose show that cycling defines the kind of company Argo is. It’s a group of diverse people who are active everywhere from the sun-baked valleys of California to the rainy streets of London.

No need to reinvent the wheel

Alongside the benefits to human health, cycling contributes to environmental health. Long-time cyclist and Argo CEO Mark E. Watson III reveals that living green isn’t always about reinventing the wheel. “Cycling has always been a part of my fitness routine,” said Watson. “If I have a choice to jump on a bike or take a cab, especially in gridlocked cities around the world, I take the bike. Sure, it gives you a bit of exercise, but it’s also a small contribution to living a more sustainable lifestyle. Oh, and by the way, it takes a lot less time.”

Fiscal sustainability can be achieved from behind the handlebars, too. “I use it as a savings tracker for small things I want to buy,” said Peter Olson, senior case manager in Portland. “Every day I bike instead of burning gas, I save $1.90, which can add up over the course of a month, not to mention the carbon footprint.” Turns out small financial decisions can have a big impact – both in insurance and in life.

The savings add up when Peter Olson bikes instead of drives: nearly $2 a day.

Lean in and enjoy the ride

Most importantly, cycling is just total fun. Argo employees appreciate this simple pleasure that lies at the heart of Argo’s cycling culture. Pool says, “If we’re away, we will stick the bikes on the back of the car. Cycling around is a beautiful way to enjoy the countryside.” Olson agrees: “There is nothing better than touring your city or town by bike.” Lofty benefits aside, leaning over the handlebars is another way to enjoy life and have a plain old good time.

National Bike to Work Day has come and gone, but Argo employees haven’t stopped pedaling. Have you considered tuning up your brakes and hitting the road, too? There will always be room in the bike rack for you.

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