World Bicycle Day takes the planet by storm
With cycling-related activities organised on all continents, World Bicycle Day on June 3rd took the planet by storm. The United Nations initiative motivated individuals, teams, clubs and National Federations to use their pedal power in many different ways to mark this inaugural day dedicated to the bicycle.
Social Media channels were swamped with posts and photos as bike users worldwide shared their activities with fellow cycling enthusiasts. On June 3rd alone, 45k tweets were published with the hashtag #WorldBicycleDay, and in just 24 hours, there were half a million impressions on UCI_cycling Instragram stories.
We have chosen to share just some of the World Bicycle Day initiatives organised around the world.
South Africa: no racing pressure
Closed roads, a choice of distances and no racing pressure: these three elements motivated 350 men, women and children to compete in a mass participation road event in Durban, South Africa.
The inaugural Westville M13 Classic was organised by the Westville Cycling Club in conjunction with the Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN) Cycling development initiative. The aim: to encourage non-competitors to take part in an organised activity at their own pace and with no cars on the roads. Participants could choose how many laps of a 17km circuit they wished to complete, for a maximum of five laps (85km).
While there were formal categories for those wishing to race, most of the participants were youth and families. Such was the success of this event, it is planned to make it an annual fixture on the KZN Cycling calendar.
Uzbekistan: city park activities
The recently-opened Ashgabat Park in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent was put to good use on World Bicycle Day. The Uzbekistan Cycling Federation together with the Embassy of Turkmenistan organised a bike tour that attracted 400 cyclists who covered a circuit of 4.5km through the park.
Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps and Embassy employees joined enthusiastic cycling amateurs for the sports festival, where the emphasis was on friendly relations between countries, the development of sports tourism and the popularisation of cycling.
Turkmenistan: participation record
The largest cycling awareness-raising event in the world: a cycling training session organised in Ashgabat has been proclaimed as such by representatives of the Guinness World Records.
An impressive 3246 people took part in the event at the Ashgabat Stadium in the Turkmenistan capital. An initiative of H.E. Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan, and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs of Turkmenistan, the event saw participants take to their bikes before being informed of the role of the bicycle as a healthy and environmentally- friendly form of city transport.
Italy: UCI staff join mass participation event
A team of staff members from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), its Official Supplier Big Bobble Hats and Official Partner GoPro joined forces to participate in the Granfondo Stelvio Santini, which took place on the inaugural World Bicycle Day. The mass participation event, organised by UCI Official Supporter Santini, saw over 3000 riders from 45 countries tackle the hilly course, with participants finishing at the top of the renown Stelvio pass.
And that is not all…
A brief look at other events organised around the world:
- The United Nations event in New York (USA) saw the participation of UCI Professional Continental Team, Team Novo Nordisk, underlining that diabetes is no barrier when it comes to cycling
- In Germany, 90,000 people took part in a ride in Berlin, organised by cycling advocacy organisation ADFC
- Check out the flash mob organised in Mumbai (India) which united 500 children, parents, and differently-abled individuals from all walks of life
- An early-morning Ride a Cycle event ride in Ranchi (India) aimed to raise bicycle awareness
- In Madrid, local cycling advocacy group “plataforma Carril Bici Castellana” organised a demonstration to demand better cycling infrastructures in the Spanish capital
- Prizes were up for grabs for Australians posting photos of their World Bicycle Day activities to social media
- It was a day for family and friends at Melbourne’s Hawthorn Velodrome in Australia.