Switching to two wheels

Five companies, ten bikes. This can only mean: #przesiadka (switch/ change), a scheme to switch from motorised transport to peddle-power. It took place between August 25th and September 22nd, with ‘Eurobuild Central & Eastern Europe’, JLL, CBRE and two developers participating

Employees of these firms who took part in the #przesiadka scheme used the Srida bikes provided by Bike2Box to get to work, to go for a lunch, for business meetings – and even for private social gatherings. The idea was to switch from four to two wheels. “We have joined the #przesiadka scheme as we believe that if you want things to change, you have to start with yourself. We want to show that you can travel by bike through the city as quickly as by car, and, additionally, it is a way to preserve the environment,” said Ewa Andrzejewska, the editor-in-chief of ‘Eurobuild Central & Eastern Europe’. After just a few days of testing the Strida bicycles delivered by Bike2Box we knew that appearing on the streets of Warsaw on Strida could evoke a lot interest, mainly among the sterner sex, and that riding the bike, which can be easily folded up, could be a real challenge. Here are some of our testers’ opinions:

“It is an interesting alternative, particularly for shorter distances. The bicycle folds up quickly and without using a lot of force, so if need be, it would be easy to throw it into the boot of a taxi or get on the underground with it. You cannot be anonymous on this bicycle, it attracts attention of all the pedestrians and drivers. The bicycle’s extraordinary manoeuvrability might be a difficulty at the beginning, but after a few minutes it stops being a problem and you can fully enjoy the ride,” summed up Michał Stanisławski, the associate director for capital markets at CBRE.

“The beginning was quite hard for me but then it only got better and better. The Strida definitely makes an impression and attracts attention. While it is possible to go uphill, getting onto the curbs and pavements made of large paving flags is difficult,” added Julia Adamczyk, JLL.

“In spite of its small size the bicycle is very convenient because of its soft seat, rubber profiled bars and the structure which makes it possible to keep an upright body posture. Its additional asset is a luggage carrier, which enables you to carry small packages/shopping. Using a belt instead of a traditional chain is also a definite plus which eliminates the possibility of getting dirty or tearing your trousers,” remarked Joanna Smolińska, a senior lease administrator for asset services at CBRE.

Our testers’ employers know that people are now more and more environmentally aware and so are trying to address their needs. Their opinions on the scheme are as follows:

“According to our survey, one fifth of people employed in the shared service sector travel to work by bicycle. At Skanska we are trying to respond to this trend. We want our tenants and employees to feel good in the office itself but also have the possibility of getting there by bike. That is why we always try to provide facilities for cyclists in our buildings,” says the HR director of Skanska Commercial Development Europe,
Katarzyna Olczak.

“Our participation in the #przesiadka scheme has only reaffirmed our belief in the bicycle being a healthy, convenient and fast means of transportation,” added Tomasz Sasin, sustainability manager, Hines Poland.

And what about the results of the scheme? “Did the first trial work? It most certainly did! We believe that today’s workplace is not just glass and concrete, but first of all it is the people and their experiences. And these experiences can be positively shaped by us and by facility managers. We want to use the experience of the first ever #przesiadka for the installation of automated bike stations in the best office buildings in Warsaw next year,” revealed Radek Kozubski, Bike2Box’s CEO.