PINO Challenge

PINO car swap

A bike can do almost anything a car can do – we at HASE BIKES know this for a fact. Sometimes, you just have to try it to believe it! In this spirit, we decided to make an irresistible offer to local car owners.


Car-free weeks in Waltrop

We at HASE BIKES have nothing against cars. We even use them ourselves: for example, when the distance is too great, the cargo volume too large, or the inner couch potato too strong. When you have a PINO STEPS, these situations occur much less often than most car drivers can imagine. But talk is cheap …



… and action is priceless – which is why we lent a PINO STEPS to five families from Waltrop and the surrounding region. No strings attached. Well, almost no strings: In return, they had to give us their car keys for safe keeping. Who took us up on the offer? Stefan Manier, cook. Dieter Link-Stern, environmental engineer. Ute Böhm, pharmacist. Kirsten Bode, physician. Jan Dickhöfer, organic farmer.




The swap took place at the end of April on the grounds of our headquarters – everything “nice” and corona compliant, with separate appointments and masks. There were on-site test rides and a few tutorials on the PINO’s handling and accessories. After the three weeks had passed, we were very curious to hear what the participants had experienced.






Risks? Side effects? Ask your doctor or pharmacist


Risks? Addiction perhaps. Side effects? If used regularly, less stress, less back pain, and better sleep. Oh, and an increased appreciation for the simple things in life – like dry underwear. That was the conclusion reached by pharmacist Ute Böhm, who commuted to work on her PINO and seemed to always be followed by a rain cloud between Olfen and Waltrop. Nevertheless, by day three, she had started to really enjoy her commutes. And then there was also the cake that she received from a colleague who had bet her that she would never be able to survive three weeks without a car.




Ute Böhm used her PINO as not only a cargo bike, but also a tandem, for taking her daughter, Paulina, to school. Paulina worried at first that it would be embarrassing to arrive at school in the “Starship Enterprise,” but – surprise, surprise – her friends actually thought it was really cool! Which is why she gave the approval for more mother-daughter rides, with the fresh breeze in their faces and enjoyable conversations.

At the end of the three weeks, Ute Böhm won the bet and enjoyed her reward: homemade “bee-sting cake”! And we received a beautiful hand-written thank you card. We thank you, too, Ute!



Kirsten Bode is a doctor. But when she talks about risks and side effects, she’s mainly thinking of the climate. And knows that reducing car use is good for not only our children’s future, but also our own present. In terms of mental and physical well-being, cycling means: no traffic stress and more exercise for the heart, circulatory system, and muscles. She used her PINO on a daily basis for riding to her medical practice, doing her shopping, and even making house calls. After the three weeks, she wanted to keep the PINO – and suggested that HASE BIKES offer a PINO rental service in Waltrop. We’re mulling it over. :-)






Local celebrity caught red-handed


Fame can be a curse: When Stefan Manier “cheated” during the swap period by using a car to transport a large load of groceries for his restaurant “Gasthaus Stromberg,” he was caught in the act – by a well-informed local, who, with a smile on his face, waved a reproving finger at him and, just to make his point clear, used his hands to imitate a pedaling motion. Bad luck, you could say, but the fact is that a restaurant simply needs a lot more groceries than a family. To satisfy Stefan Manier’s needs, we would have to design a new model: the “PINO PROFESSIONAL.” We’ll have the engineering department get right on it. ;-)


Nevertheless, the cook was often able to use his PINO as a company vehicle. On Mother’s Day, it even delivered a surprise meal all the way to Recklinghausen. Meals on wheels … of a different kind – served personally by the chef. The chef’s conclusion? The PINO is a great family bike and the perfect vehicle for getting around town. This means that a “quick trip to the post office” is just that, and not 30 minutes of stop-and-go traffic and looking for a parking space. Stefan Manier may not have been able to manage everything without a car, but at least he didn’t need a second one! And that’s an accomplishment, in our opinion.






Environmental activist with SUV


You don’t have to talk Dieter Link-Stern into using a bike: He uses one for 85 % of the kilometers he travels. In that sense, the remaining 15 % are barely worth mentioning. He applied for the swap because the PINO was so different than all the other bikes he knows. After the three weeks, he had grown very attached to his PINO: “This sense of space!” he gushed. “And when the boost pushes from behind …” For the environmental engineer who worked for an automobile giant, the PINO is an SUV that lets you experience the environment with all your senses, instead of polluting it. And every day, it filled him with exhilaration and delight!






Bike for Frida


Frida doesn’t even own a car. It would be odd if she did – as she’s only 13. This meant that she had nothing to swap for a PINO, so she had to hijack one. And because of her incredibly disarming personality, her father, Jan, was unable to stop her. A least the organic farmer was allowed to borrow the PINO now and then – for example, in order to collect the freshly laid eggs from the mobile chicken coop in the middle of his green fields.



Otherwise, Frida used the PINO for herself, sometimes with a friend. And her parents? Thought it was great to see the autonomy it gave their daughter, who – because the family’s organic farm is way out in the boondocks – otherwise had to be taxied around by her parents. Thanks to the PINO, they didn’t have to take Frida anywhere, and she even took over the family shopping for the whole three weeks – the only things they didn’t let her transport were heavy beverage crates. Which probably would have been a piece of cake for Frida and the PINO …


And Frida herself? She had loads of fun with “here left, now right, then straight across the field” tours with her friend or spontaneous visits to the animals on the farm, which didn’t seem at all afraid of the unusual two-wheeler. Frida was also thrilled to learn that she had earned the high score on the challenge by cycling a total of 350 miles (564 km). Well, where there’s a will, there’s Frida.

From here, the story takes a slightly criminal twist. Frida didn’t want to return her PINO after three weeks, so she tried to bribe Kirsten Hase with a vegetable bed in her parents’ Demeter garden – for life. First piracy, then bribery – what will become of her? The godmother of Waltrop?? The Greta of the green transport revolution??? We can’t wait to find out!






Everything about the PINO STEPS can be found here.