Happy World Bicycle Day! We are huge fans of the humble bicycle, for so many reasons! Not only are bicycles one of the most sustainable forms of transport, they are fun to ride, relatively cheap to acquire and – as we’ve seen throughout history – they are vehicles for social change. On World Bicycle Day we celebrate cycling and the joy a bicycle ride – be it on your journey to work or school or just for fun – can bring to people of all ages.
Cycling and Sustainable development
World Bicycle Day draws attention to the benefits of using the bicycle — a simple, affordable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation. The bicycle contributes to cleaner air and less congestion and makes education, health care and other social services more accessible to the most vulnerable populations. A sustainable transport system that promotes economic growth, reduces inequalities while bolstering the fight against climate change is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Background to World Bicycle Day
Acknowledging the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health, the General Assembly of the UN decided to declare 3 June World Bicycle Day. It encouraged stakeholders to emphasize and advance the use of the bicycle as a means of fostering sustainable development, strengthening education, including physical education, for children and young people, promoting health, preventing disease, promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace.
Read more about World Bicycle Day and its origins here.
Resources to help you celebrate World Bicycle Day
Green-Schools launched the #andshecycles campaign in 2019. Since launch the campaign has grown and now includes the #andshecycles Ambassador Programme which is in its pilot year for the 2020/2021 academic year. The Ambassador Programme’s objectives are:
- Develop role models & leaders for school cycling amongst teenage girls
- Empower teenage girls to shape the cycle-friendliness of their institutions
- Provide opportunities for teenage girls to cycle
You can catch up on the #andshecycles campaign here and watch our campaign launch video below as part of your World Bicycle Day celebrations.
Cycle Bus Network
This World Bicycle Day why not consider investigating or starting a cycle bus at your school? A Cycle Bus is a great way to travel to school with students cycling along a designated route with parents accompanying them. It is a parent/guardian/community-led initiative whereby several parents and volunteers lead groups of cycling students to one or more schools. Cycle Buses have a specific route with stops along the way where students can join. City-wide cycle buses have been operating successfully for students of multiple schools in Galway, Limerick and Dublin since early 2019 and have now spread to other places around the country such as Cork City, Skibbereen and Strandhill to name a few. Everyone has a right to cycle to school and a Cycle Bus can ensure a safer journey with everyone cycling together in a convoy. Find out more about the Cycle Bus Network and download a cycle bus guide here.