Our hopes for a rain-free day were fulfilled beyond all our expectations. The fifth ‘Suits on Bikes’ cycle ride and forum was held on a day blessed with sunshine and at temperatures that reached 30⁰C. This made it the hottest bike ride and party yet – and the symbolic work suits traditionally worn at each previous event were certainly not the order of the day. Only a few people decided to take part in their formal clothes, opting instead for sports shirts and shorts.
‘Suits on Bikes’ is our initiative for promoting sustainable cities and environmentally-friendly modes of urban transport and commuting. Our mission is to win office workers over to the idea to switch to cycling to work instead of using a private car or public transport all the time. Among the arguments in favour of the use of bicycles are: the existence of a cycle path network, the improving quality of the cycling lanes themselves, as well as the amenities now being provided for cyclists in office buildings. Examples of buildings that offer extensive bicycle facilities for their tenants include Warsaw Spire, from where one group of cyclist began the ride, and SkySawa (which is still rising skywards), from where another group set off. A third group started from Portico PM’s headquarters. The main conclusion drawn from the ride is that it is the improving cycling infrastructure that is driving the positive changes in this direction. In 2020, Warsaw recorded an increase of more than 17 pct in cycle traffic. In addition, due to the recent shift towards hybrid work, our working hours have become more flexible, which has resulted in increased cycling outside the morning and afternoon rush hours when employees are commuting into work or are going back home. We are travelling by bike more and more often and at different times.
It’s not just the current weather that has led to all this. Both the rain and the heat can make your mind up about whether to get on your bike or leave it at home, but if there’s nowhere safe to leave it at your destination, you can’t change clothes and start work with dignity, office employees will simply not get on their bikes and will unfortunately will choose an air-conditioned car instead. Thank you to the almost 80 people who toured the city with us during the ‘Suits on Bikes’ ride. We would also like to thank all our partners who have lent their support our campaign: Polski Holding Nieruchomości, Immofinanz, Portico Project Management, Zielone Mazowsze, Nextbike, The Bike Company, Bike by SG, Pracodawca Przyzjazny Rowerzystom, Rowerowawa, Zdrowy Rower, Stowarzyszenie Lepszy Służewiec and Jeden Samochód Mniej.