The seventh edition of the Bicycle World Forum is going to take place at Lima (Peru) from 22nd to 26th of February this year. This key event for urban cyclist is the highest in the world and citizens, associations, international nets of bike-activisms, researchers, politicians and managers are welcomed. Indeed, it is the ideal place for everybody interested in cities, urban planning, public space use and bikes as part of the sustainable mobility.
The Bicycle World Forum fosters reflection and thoughts about mobility, citizenship, planning, access for everybody, public space and sustainability with the goal to positively impact the destiny of our cities.
The event will count with several activities:
- Short presentations
- Hackathon, yes a meeting for programmers
- Games: Bike Polo, Flat Land, Bike Trial and Pum Track
- Movies, books, magazines, etc. related to bikes presentations
For more info, check www.fmb7.org
Every two years the equip Copenhagenize Design Co. makes a raking with the top 20 bicycle friendly cities. Each city is given a score according to 14 parameters which try to collect the most important issues regarding bikes and cities in an unbiased way. This index has a lot of prestige. The parameters are:
- Bicycle culture
- Bicycle facilities
- Bicycle infrastructure
- Bike share programme
- Gender split
- Modal share for bicycles
- Modal share increase since 2006
- Perception of safety
- Social acceptance
- Urban planning
- Traffic calming
- Cargo bikes and logistics
The fact of using these parameters rather than asking individuals allows avoiding personal perceptions which prevents excessive positive or negative emotions. If that would happen, it would discredit the index in turns.
Although most of the cities in the ranking are European ones, the authors also consider cities from all the continents. In the 2017 edition, 136 cities in total were examine.
Have you ever thought whether or not a disabled person can ride a bike? And if so, how would they do it? People in wheel chairs have it easy. The handbike or handcycle is a special vehicle in which a component is hooked to the wheel chair to form machine with three wheels in total. It moves by the force of the arms. Basically, it uses the same mechanism as a bicycle, but allows users to move further than just using a wheel chair. Nevertheless and for safety, streets and paths must be adapted similarly as it was a wheel chair. This new experience makes users enjoy all the bicycles benefits such as sport, environment, happiness and so on. Indeed, there are groups which cooperate to benefit themselves. One of them is the Club Tres Rodes Aspaym in Valencia (Three Wheels Group in English), the first in Spain. They enjoy their handbikes, promote social inclusion, prepare routes once a month, participate in activities and defend its reason. They are inspiring leaders.
As the bicycle has been using more and more in the last years, drivers from the privileged group (car drivers) have been get used to it. Nevertheless, there is still a number of them who believes the whole street is for them. Sometimes cars do not respect bike or pedestrian lines, putting lives in risk. If only they would realize the potential damage their machines can cause. Moving a one-tonne car at 50 km/h (30 mph) or more is likely to produce death to a pedestrian in a car accident. Protests have been producing around the world from violent to peaceful ones. Between these lasts, the use of stickers is popular from Russia to Mexico. In the next video you can see how it works and the car drivers reactions.
A World Bike Forum (WBF) is a yearly event in which most of the issue related to urban cycling and mobility are discussed. One can find planning of cities, innovative actions on bike infrastructure or the main tendencies in urban cycling. It started in 2011 as a result of the tragic collision first anniversary. On the eve of the Critical Mass in Porto Alegre, a mad driver deliberately collided with around 20 cyclists on February 25. The next year, the first edition of the World Forum took place in the very same city. The Brazilian city repeated as WBF host city the next year. In 2014, another Brazilian city organised it. Then, it moved to Medellin (Colombia) in 2015 and Santiago (Chile) in 2016. This year Mexico city will be the city host of the WBF.
Among all, the best way to define it is freedom. The key principles are:
– Freeness: All the activities in the Forum are free
– Horizontally: The organizing work is done by volunteers, all the information is public and only flat organisation is allowed
– Most of the activities are self managed
– It is done by people for people, hence no publicity, logos or trademarked brands are allowed
The event will take place in Mexico in April 19th-23th 2017. It is so important that even the United Nations has cover its press conference launching (http://webtv.un.org/watch/launch-of-the-sixth-world-bike-forum-in-2017-in-mexico-city-press-conference-habitat-iii/5176866406001?page=1). You can’t miss it!
Once a year, a big, interplanetary Critical Mass called the Criticona is done in a different location in Spain. It has been taken place in Madrid, Bilbao, Valladolid, Gijón, Valencia and Barcelona in the past. Everyplace has adapted its name to the specific event. In this edition, the Criticona will full Ibiza with bikes. For such a reason, the Criticona is called Pitiusona as “pitiusas” is another name for the Balearic islands.
The central activity will be developed on the 29 of April, consisting of a easy ride on decorated bicycles with colored strips, banners and balloons on Ibiza. Nevertheless, a lot of activities will be producing from 28 April to 1 May.
- 28 April: Visit to the Bicycle museum on the morning. On the afternoon, riding to the Can Jordy Blues station
- 29 April: Ride to the natural park Ses Salines and working-class eating on the morning. Interplanetary Pitiusona at 18:00. When finalizing, the location for the next Criticona will be made.
- 30 April: Riding the bike to San Antonio cycle track and bike activities. Big paella to eat. On the evening, cycling to a small, secret bay to admire the sunset.
- 1 May: Farewell
Organizers help with accommodation and meals, offering them at low prices or even free. You can not miss it!
All the information can be found in The Pitiusona (in Spanish).
Few weeks ago I talked about the “anillo ciclista” as one the most important cycling infrastructures in Valencia. It was inaugurated with the obliged cut of the ribbon. This change has been demanding by Valencia en bici for more than 23 years. The former government of the city demonstrated a total rejection towards bicycles and sustainable movement. It has became possible thanks to the new government. Not only has it constituted a symbol for the change in the urban movement, it also has represented an improvement for pedestrian as we enjoy more space on the sidewalks. Furthermore, cars do not drive at so high speed since the new bike line has reduced one car line. This fact has helped to correct part of the infamous highways inside the city, although there is still a lot of work to do.
Hundreds of urban cyclists have met to celebrate it. The inauguration has took place in an informal way. The new government has proposed itself not to inaugurate anything due to the fact this was a form of generating manipulated pieces of news by the former government. Indeed, the opening party has been made by people from Valencia en bici. The mayor and the councilman of sustainable mobility have been presented looking the event. After that, we have rode it forming two groups which in turn have divided in subgroups. One of the first has started riding clockwise whereas the second big group has done it the other side. We have coincided in front of the Serranos towers at the end.
Have you ever imagined how could be the bikes in the late 20’s? Do you like dressing as in 1940? All these questions and much more can be answered in the Tweed Ride. The Tweed Ride is a global movement in which cyclists dress in traditional attire and ride classic bikes for fun. The event is usually done with no fixed date once a year. It depends on the desires of the local organizations. The ride goes mostly through the city center in order to evoke a vintage, magical picture card. Above all, it is a celebration.
The Clàssic Ride is the name of this exceptional event in the city of Valencia. The organizers worked hard to plan, design and advertise every aspect. We started from the Serrano towers (one of the ancient entrances to the city) and made a stop in the middle of the ride to recover energy by drinking horchata (a typical, sweet, refreshing beverage made from tiger nut). Then, we continued until a charming square in the neighbor of Campanar. Here, a group of swing dancers of the Spirit of St. Louis made a demonstration of their skills under lindy hop music. And finally, we enjoyed a picnic in the gardens.
Here, you can see a bunch of photos of the special atmosphere.
It is a common believe that when people unite, they are more powerful. History has shown that what is almost impossible to reach for a single person, it can be done when dozens, hundreds or millions join together. The biking movement is not an exception. Organizations like BiciRed México or Conbici are clear examples at country level. The first one represents the bike throughout Mexico. Not only does it promotes people moving in a sustainable way, but also launches campaigns to improve human health and environment. Who would deny slogans like “more human cities” or “let’s reduce death in roads”? These messages aim to realize people the benefices of bikes in a friendly, universal way. BiciRed México, Conbici as well as other national associations coordinate movements of smaller, usually local associations. Conbici is the Spanish coordinator of dozens of smaller associations. Sometimes there are more than one association by city. It acts as a catalyst of the main tendencies in biking and defends bikers rights against undesirable law changes. And finally, the more we are, the more power we have.