9 ways to encourage your colleagues to cycle to work - Do práce na kole

9 ways to encourage your colleagues to cycle to work

9 ways to encourage your colleagues to cycle to work
23. 12. 2022

Non-motorized transport to work makes you happier, and healthier and also saves the environment and your money. And you know it. But how do you convince your colleagues to take the plunge?

It should be easy, but it’s not. Maybe they find cycling dangerous, uncomfortable, and exhausting. How do you change their perspective?

1. Demonstrate it to them

One of the easiest ways is to set an example to your colleagues and simply turn up to work on your bike, beaming with happiness. On a bike, you can easily estimate how long your journey will take because you won’t get stuck even in heavy traffic. Cycling gives you a real sense of freedom and physical activity helps relieve stress. No wonder it makes people happy.

2.  Don’t make a big deal out of it

“Trust no amusement that requires new clothes,” Henry Thoreau once wrote. And he was right. You’re not riding the Tour de France, you’re going to work, and you don’t want to arrive in your jersey and drenched in sweat. Just like most people. Take the example of the Dutch and Danes who ride their bikes “in civilian clothes.”

3.  Share your route

Fear of riding in traffic is probably the number one reason people don’t want to bike. You can help them overcome it and give them confidence by offering a quieter route through side streets, parks, and cycle paths. Maybe your colleagues don’t know about this option, even if they’ve lived in the same city all their lives. You can also advise them on websites where they can search for these routes (for example www.mestemnakole.cz). This way they can learn to share the road with cars gradually.

Traveling to work is not the same as breaking world records

4.  Show them how easy it is

“If I’m not fit at all.” This is one of the most common arguments for why someone can’t bike to work. People tend to assume that cycling is a chore. It isn’t. It’s one of the most efficient modes of self-propelled transportation. It requires no more effort than walking and you move four to five times faster. It’s only hard if you think of it as a race, or if you’re riding a crappy, underinflated bike with a rusty chain. Offer your colleagues a ride around the block on yours and see the difference for yourself. Sure, it’s not the same as a healthy walk, but when you explain to them how a daily bike ride improves people’s lives, there’s nothing more to think about.

5. Explain to them the value of a bike

Some mall bikes cost a few hundred. It’s just that they’re more like bicycle-shaped objects that don’t serve you very well. Tell them to go to a specialist shop (ideally recommend one straight away) and get advice. Try telling them that the order of magnitude of the prices of good bikes is similar to those of laptops with roughly the same price/performance ratio, and they will get a better idea of how big an investment to expect.

6.  Improve the conditions for commuting by bike at work

A secure and sheltered place to store your bike or shower at work isn’t a complete necessity, but it makes riding to work a lot more appealing. Try suggesting to the HR department that they accommodate cyclists. The more you do, the better your chances. Like the unions, you know. Then, as part of the May Bike to Work Challenge, your employer can also enter the Cycling Employer of the Year 2023 competition.

Cycling is always a bit more fun for two

7.  Take the Bike to Work Challenge

Convincing someone to change their commuting habits from one day to the next is not easy. But almost everyone who tries one of our sustainable travel challenges will get hooked. That’s why we run them in the first place. The aim is to get as many people in the saddle as possible, whether for a week (January Challenge), two (September Challenge), or a month (May Challenge). So come on in with your colleagues, have fun and unconventional team building, motivate each other and compete for interesting prizes.

8.  Help them with basic maintenance

Almost every Czech household has a bike, so your colleagues will probably have something to start on. But chances are that this bike won’t be in perfect condition. Offer to look at it for them on your lunch break. Blow their inner tubes, grease their chain, and you’ll probably have to lift their saddle. Check they have the basic equipment and advise them where they can buy or top it up.

9.  Ride to work together

If your colleague is a complete beginner, make sure they don’t take too big a bite and go on a 20km uphill ride on their first day. Help him or her plan the journey so that staying in the saddle doesn’t take more than half an hour per ride. Combine it with public transport or the train and offer him company. He or she will feel more confident not only in traffic but also because of any mechanical problems that may befall him or her along the way. Guide them and teach them the rules of safe riding in traffic, avoiding the door zone, etc. Then just enjoy his or her euphoria. You’ve earned it.

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