"Rent-a-bike" is becoming more and more widespread in German cities and demand is high. Deutsche Bahn bikes set the trend and have become an indispensable feature of every city. Telekom has been offering this service to its employees from as early as 2013. The bikes can be used for work purposes or private journeys in lunch breaks. Bike sharing makes it easier to get around through congested streets and improves the users’ carbon footprint. And needless to say, it’s good for your health too.
For some time now, we’ve been planning to go on a bike ride together in our lunch break; last week we finally did it. Five of us made our way into the city. We set off at 11:30 a.m. Bikes can be hired at many different Telekom locations, such as Hamburg, Dortmund, Leinfelden, Bonn, and of course here in Darmstadt. You can use them for free, without having to register or reserve them first. There are six bikes available in Darmstadt. They are parked on our campus, safely secured to bike stands.
No sooner said than done – we met at the main entrance and each of us was issued with a key for one bike. After we left our contact details, we set off to pick up the bikes. We started our ride by heading downtown, sticking to marked cycle paths of course. We were aiming for a small bistro near the central station where we planned to spend our lunch break. After recharging our batteries we headed back to the office, enjoying the good weather and the exercise.
The Rent-a-bike initiative was brought to life by Telekom MobilitySolutions with the main aim of cycling to meetings held at other buildings and leaving the car in the parking lot. The bikes can be hired Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. In some locations, e-bikes are available for hire too. For those who prefer things a little trendier, e-scooters have been available to rent too in Bonn from this month onward for a 3-month trial period to help you get to meetings at other buildings quickly.
Our conclusion? It may have been the first time, but it was definitely not the last. I'm already looking forward to our next ride.