Far-Off Googlers Spin Wheels, Americans Sit Idle

    March 23, 2007

Google wants to protect the environment; it also wants its employees to stay happy and healthy.  So, to address both issues at once, the search engine company is giving away around 2,000 free bicycles.  Ironically, the bikes will not be offered to Google’s American employees, who (statistically speaking) are probably most in need of some exercise.

It’s not necessary to construe that fact as a derogatory comment about U.S. lifestyles, however – it may just be a cost-saving measure.  Quickrelease.tv reports that the bikes in question are Dahon Curves, and the prices for that model start at $400.  Therefore, considering Google’s 2,000 employees in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, the company could be facing a bill of over $800,000.

That expenditure is more than enough to earn Google a round of applause, and Green Options’s Michael dEstries supplied his fair share of clapping.  “You have got to love Google,” he wrote.  “Not only do they consistently redefine employee benefits, but they’re also incredibly forward-thinking when it comes to issues like the environment.”

Liane Hornsey, the search engine company’s director of human resources and staffing for the three regions, gave an official explanation for the spending spree to the Guardian Unlimited.  “[T]hese amazing bikes will help Googlers keep fit and healthy, get to know their city better and reduce the environmental impact of their journey to work,” she reasoned.

Googlers overseas will be able to remain relatively safe, as well, since their employer is supplying free helmets along with the bicycles.  American Googlers are advised to not – repeat, not – eat their hearts out.