Bikes instead of company cars: In the fast lane by bike – and three times around the world
Whenever you hear “Babbel,” you probably think of language learning and then about your next trip, where you can finally put your newly acquired language skills to the test. But have you ever heard of Babbel when it comes to bikes? If not, then it’s about time!
For more than two years, or rather since May 2014, Babbel has made bikes, service bikes to be precise, available to all permanent employees free of charge. In doing so, Babbel became the first start-up which not only offered bikes for getting to work, but also for daily private use. The bikes can even be taken on holiday. Since then the bikes, which have been exclusively designed and painted for Babbel in a striking orange color, have formed an integral part of the streetscape in Berlin.
“The Babbel bikes are great,” says communications manager Sam Taylor. “When I started at Babbel, I ordered one right away and have been using it every day since. The best thing is that I don’t have to do the repairs myself.”
Perhaps our loyal readers of the Babbel blog might have the impression that they’ve heard about Babbel bikes already — and they’re right! We’ve already mentioned the idea and development of Babbel bikes in the blog article: Roll on: the story of the Babbel bikes. That was over two years ago, and at the time it wasn’t possible to foresee that it would become a success story. Today it’s clear that the bikes, which now number over 100, are essential, something which was confirmed by the people who know best — our employees.
The result: One in three Babbel employees regularly comes to work by bike, even if it is snowing, raining or very cold. Because ultimately, there is no bad weather, just the wrong (cycling) clothes. Some of our employees travel 20 kilometers or even more every day to get to and from work, even though all employees who live more than five kilometers away from the office in Berlin-Kreuzberg can also choose a monthly public transit ticket for public instead of a Babbel bike.
This means that all Babbel cyclists could have cycled around the world about three times, just by cycling to and from work! But the bikes are also used for private purposes. For many, these bikes have replaced their own old bikes. Long bike trips of up to 200 kilometers and weekend trips are part of the athletic repertoire undertaken by the “Babbelonier.”
“I am very pleased that the Babbel bikes are used so much, but it does not surprise me: In Berlin, it is a lot quicker to travel by bike than by car to cover short distances. I think that driving a car in the city center in 15 years will be just as absurd as smoking in offices,” says Markus Witte, CEO of Babbel. Furthermore, company cars are only available to a select few, while we provide every permanent employee with a high-quality, safe and beautiful bike.”
There is only one snag: Unfortunately the Babbel bikes are not only popular among employees — around 30 of the eye-catching bikes have already been stolen in Berlin. So if somebody tries to sell you an orange bike with Babbel written on it, then you know where it came from!