• Posted Sep 7, 2004

Founder and owner of Bikes at Work, Inc. - Jim Gregory rides his bike to deliver papers, groceries, etc around the ISU campus.

By Jenny Stanley Iowa State Daily Correspondent When Jim Gregory graduated from Iowa State, he planned to have a corporate career. To his surprise, he found himself riding his bike for a living. "I enjoy the outdoors and the exercise," Gregory said. Gregory is the owner and founder of Bikes At Work, Inc., 129 Washington Ave. The company, which consists of Gregory and his wife, Joan Stein, is a bicycle-based business that delivers groceries, newspapers, furniture and more, Gregory said. Gregory started his business while he was working to get his master's degree in mechanical engineering at Iowa State after buying a trailer for his bike. "I started delivering pizzas early on," Gregory said. After receiving his master's degree in 1987, Gregory returned to Iowa State and earned a second degree in plant pathology in 1993. "When I was in school, I thought my own business would be more enjoyable," Gregory said. Bikes At Work provides several services for the ISU community, including delivering the Iowa State Daily and picking up the recycled newspaper. Gloria Erickson, program assistant in Facilities, Planning and Management who coordinates the recycling for Iowa State, said she was impressed with the work Gregory does. "Gregory is amazing," Erickson said. "I admire him and his wife." She said the university continues to renew his contract because he does a good job. "He comes up with ideas for us to improve our systems," Erickson said. She said the environmental aspect played a role in hiring Gregory. In addition to being emission-free, he has more mobility than a larger delivery service and knows the campus well. Bikes At Work has expanded from its beginnings in 1991 and now does more than just delivery. Gregory also designs and manufactures his own bicycle equipment. "We are now working on new cargo bikes, trikes and trailers," Gregory said. They currently have trailers and pedicabs for sale, and they also offer a rickshaw service for special events and weekends during warm weather. Gregory said he and his wife both ride routes throughout the day. He starts the day by picking up the Iowa State Daily at 5:30 a.m. and delivering it to several locations while his wife runs the office. After they eat lunch together, his wife rides a route while he stays in the office. "We don't have a car," Gregory said. "When you do physical work for so long, it begins to feel very comfortable and you enjoy doing it." Gregory said his business used to have a contract with Iowa State and the residence halls and he was able to employ other people, including ISU students, but, after budget cuts a couple years ago, the contract was canceled and he was forced to lay off the employees. Bikes At Work also has no official contract with the city of Ames, but Gregory said they are always on good terms. He said sometimes the Department of Traffic calls him to get suggestions on bikes paths. Gregory said he and his wife are happy with their year-round career and that they have no immediate plans to change.
Check out Bikes at Work to learn more about hauling cargo by bicycles, starting your own bicycle related business or just being car free! Jim Gregory Bikes At Work Inc. 129 Washington Ave Ames, IA 50010 (515)-233-6120

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