Europe is relatively small and bicycles have been favoured as a means of transport for many decades here. Some extreme cycling enthusiasts ride their bikes all year long, but the majority of Poles opens the biking season in May, when the weather conditions are more agreeable to open-air adventures. But what to do if you have just moved to Poland and do not own your very own two-wheeler?
Sharing is caring
Poland has been taking part in bike sharing systems for a few years now. If you visit Polish cities or even larger towns, you may notice stations that contain a few sets of bicycles for rent, from March 1st to November 30th. All you need to do is register your cycling account in the system (either online or with the use of your credit card in the bike terminal) and join the party by paying a fee of PLN 10. The first 20 minutes of your ride are always free, but longer rides generate costs. After using the bike, you will need to leave it at any station that is convenient to you. Sounds great? It does, as you can find them in countless spots in the cities. In Warsaw, for instance, bike sharing terminals are located near subway stations.
Ask your boss
If you have taken up a job in Poland, you may be surprised at the fact that many employers recognise and support their employees’ biking hobby. Cyclists have a few exciting privileges that promote healthy lifestyle among other workers. See for yourself:
- In Ergo Hestia employees who ride a bike to work enjoy a free meal during the day. Gdańsk and Sopot company offices also offer discounts on a new bike that amount to 25 percent off.
- In Gdynia, the city hall is organising for the fourth time a cycling competition, lasting from April to September. Last year, nearly 100 companies participated in it, not only to win money or get ‘biker’s breakfast’, but also to prove that they enjoy physical activity before getting to work.
- Infosys BPO Poland is among many companies that have dedicated special cloak rooms, showers and parking lots to those employees, who using a bike to get to work. The company says that most of all they value active and energetic workers.
City hall bikers
Even the public sector in Poland has promoting cycling very seriously. City halls in Warsaw, Wrocław, Katowice, Gdańsk and many other have something in common – they have bought bicycles that can be used by their employees to move around the cities whilst carrying out professional duties. All of the projects have been very successful – office workers fell in love with the bikes and you can see them in the cities rushing to official appointments. Those, who have not been assigned their very own bike yet, clearly and loudly voice the need to get one. Could it be that a short ride would put a smile on their often grumpy faces?
Ready, set, go
Whether you are a university student or an international company employee, you will quickly discover the benefits of using your bike on everyday basis. Its efficiency in congested streets can be invaluable. Most Polish cities have useful cycling paths near pavements or special bike lines in the roads. Remember to wear a helmet and make sure that you are visible while cycling – your safety always comes first.
Are you convinced then? Try renting a bike and maybe you will love it so much that buying your own will be just a matter of time!