A new initiaitive in Krakow (Poland) has been helping residents in the city to ensure that their bikes are safe to ride.
The Handshake “Future Cycling Capital” has engaged two professional bike mechanics to offer free safety checks. Between late August and mid-October, the municipality organised eight ‘service days’ in four locations across the city which were open for all to take advantage of.
The service focused on identifying safety issues, for example in relation to brakes, lights, gears and tires. If possible, minor repairs were conducted on the spot. In all other cases, cyclists were informed what was wrong with their bike, how to go about repairing it, and how much it would cost to do so. Bike owners with no lights were also given a promotional set of bike lights.
On average, 40 – 75 bikes were checked per event, with 530 checked in total. Each individual service took approximately 10 minutes. The events held during the week lasted eight hours and those on Saturdays ran for five hours.
The new action has been warmly welcomed by citizens. It is very possible that it is going to be a large part of an annual “city bike curriculum” for years to come saidDariusz Niewitała, Main Cycling Specialist, Municipality of Krakow.
A special promotional banner was designed and printed for the activity, which has also been publicised by the municipality in regional newspapers and on local television. The measure replicates a popular one from Munich (Germany), one of Handshake’s “Cycling Capitals” and Krakow’s mentor in the project.
Sonja Kämmler, Project Manager for Handshake, City of Munich, remarks that “the mentoring programme within Handshake is accelerating the exchange of experiences and the promotion of cycling in other European cities. We are delighted to have helped Krakow implement its bike safety checks successfully."
Author: Richard Adams