Poland’s First Openly Gay Mayor Gives up Limos for Bikes

He’s going to cycle to all his civic duties.

Robert Biedron, Slupsk's new cycling mayor. Via Wikimedia Commons.

A newly elected mayor in Poland, Robert Biedron, has already made global headlines for being the first openly gay man to occupy the position. As the mayor of the Polish town of Slupsk, Biedron has access to three limousines, which are available to ferry him about the city. But in a decision demonstrating both fiscal responsibility and sound cardiovascular health, Biedron announced that he’s relinquishing the mayoral limousine perk and instead will use bicycles as his primary mode of transportation.

“I will lead a very modest [local government], as this town is modest, as well as being one of the most debt-ridden in Poland,” he told the English-language Polish news agency PAP. “The three limousines which are available to the mayor will no longer be mine, as I go everywhere by bicycle.”

Biedron’s ascetic gesture might be a shrewd manuever for his public image in a town as indebted as Slupsk. Ironically, Slupsk’s most profitable business is a Swedish vehicle-manufacturing plant.

“Many people approach me and say, ‘no, the mayor of the city must have a nice car and a driver,’” Biedron said to the Associated Press. “They think you must underline your importance.”