Today, June 3, is World Bicycle Day. With the recent surge in bike sales, the thousands of new riders to our sport and increased awareness of cycling in general, 2020 is shaping up to be a very significant year for all aspects of the industry.
World Bicycle Day was originally formalised by the United Nations General Assembly for ‘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’.
In addition to the UN endorsing cycling, the World Health Organisation strongly support both World Bicycle Day and the health outcomes of the sport. “Walking and cycling can provide a form of transport while reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and even death,” said WHO. “Accordingly, improved active transport is not only healthy, it is also equitable and cost-effective.”
According to the WHO & UN, World Bicycle Day is important for a number of wide-ranging reasons including –
- The bicycle is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation.
- The bicycle can serve as a tool for development and as a means not just of transportation but also of access to education, health care and sport.
- The UN encourages Member States to improve road safety and integrate it into sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design, in particular through policies and measures to actively protect and promote pedestrian safety and cycling mobility, with a view to broader health outcomes, particularly the prevention of injuries and non-communicable diseases.
- The synergy between the bicycle and the user fosters creativity and social engagement and gives the user an immediate awareness of the local environment.
- The bicycle is a symbol of sustainable transportation and conveys a positive message to foster sustainable consumption and production, and has a positive impact on climate.
- The UN encourages Member States to devote particular attention to the bicycle in cross-cutting development strategies and to include the bicycle in international, regional, national and subnational development policies and programmes.
- Encouraging 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.
- Encouraging UN Member States to adopt best practices and means to promote the bicycle among all members of society, and in this regard welcomes initiatives to organize bicycle rides at the national and local levels as a means of strengthening physical and mental health and well-being and developing a culture of cycling in society.
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