City & Commuting

How can companies help cycling commuters?

1 Comment 06 August 2010

If you have errands in the city, there's no better tool | Photo by Giuseppe Bonetti

While bicycle commuting is very good for us, our celestial home, the air we breathe and our moral superiority – it’s also very good for our employers. But not many of them seem to realize it. As we said in our article showing the 5 excellent reasons why bicycle commuting rules like a Mongol warlord – it has many benefits for the employer as well: Better time control delivers employees to work at time, better health due to exercising leads to less sick days and supporting cycling is also a great and cost-efficient way to reward and motivate employees in making their lives better.

There are even more reasons why bikes are easier for the employer, you can park a small company’s bikes in the same space it is required by a single car and since parking lots are usually priced according to their demand due to a very limited supply in urban environments, having several parking permits can get very expensive for the company. Not to mention the price of actually leasing a car for an employee.

Luckily, more and more companies are providing offices with showers and places to dry your gear, bicycle parking with proper security and other benefits towards cycling as well – some companies even lease bicycles for their employees as bonuses (which allows people to get better bikes for less investments and the maintenance is usually included in the fees as well – check your local bike shop for a service like this!)

That’s why I was happy to see Nokia provide city bikes for their employees in Berlin, where they have four offices. Sure, they’ll use them for marketing as well, but the most important part for me here is the stand (somebody at) Nokia (Berlin) is taking by supporting cycling as a viable method of transportation instead of taxis and trams. I also think the city bike is a great choice with its upright riding position and simple controls deliver a good experience in getting everyone riding at Nokia Berlin.

Even if these bikes are stolen, they're marketing all the way | Photo by Giuseppe Bonetti

Nokia’s bikes in Berlin are leased from a local company called Leaserad, and they are naturally German bikes (with German lightweight al-uh-meen-ium engineering, I bet). They have an 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub with roller cam brakes and puncture resistant tubes and tyres that are very fitting for an urban environment. Naturally, the bikes come fitted with racks, mudguards, lights, locks and other safety and security features so you can ride the bicycles every day of the year. I’d love to see the helmets they provide as well.

Naturally, I was hoping that Nokia could get these bikes for everyone in the office for their commuting use, but I hear that this is yet not the case. Still, I feel this a great step forward and a great example for smaller companies to make cycling an even better choice for the daily commute.

Do you know a company or do you work in one that support cycling? Tell us about it!

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- who has written 201 posts on Coming thru!.

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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