World Bicycle Day celebrated across China

June 3 was designated as World Bicycle Day by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2018, with the aim of celebrating and promoting bicycle use around the world. This resolution was the result of a petition by Montgomery College Professor Leszek Sibilski and his sociology students, who started a grassroots campaign to promote World Bicycle Day, eventually gaining supports from 57 nations. The goal is to raise public awareness on emission reduction, and also encourage a healthy lifestyle. This year many Chinese cities have actively participated in celebrating the second World Bicycle Day, with various activities held all over the country over the weekend.

In Chengdu, the People’s Government held the “Tianfu Greenway Cycling Event” (天府绿道自行车骑行活动) to celebrate the World Bicycle Day as well as the start of the Chengdu Cycling Month. The riding tour started and ended in Zhanqi village, with a total cycling distance of 6.3km. On the road, participants were able to enjoy the rural scenery of western Sichuan and also take part in colourful carnival activities. For example, in the Times Bicycle Show, bicycles of different shapes from the last 70 years were exhibited to reflect the changes in people’s lives through the evolution of bicycles. In the “intelligent sports’ experience zone”, participants could battle with global masters in real-time online virtual scenes. They could also enjoy the fun of cycling in other interesting “pass through” games. Moreover, the organizers even designed an app for people who could not get to the site on June 3, guiding them to participate online with a virtual cycling route map of the Tianfu greenway. As long as they complete the 6.3km cycling task before June 30, they can also gain medals as reward. During the event the concept of “green commuting” was greatly advocated.

A similar cycling event was held in Putian, Fujian as well. On June 2, “Putian’s First World Bicycle Day Green Cycling Event” started from the north square of the city hall, including over 300 participants and 26 teams. The 10 km ride passed through many landscapes from the north to the south of the city, allowing people to fully experience the rapidly developing Putian. One of the highlights of the activity was that all the bicycles used were sponsored by the Putian Smile Public Bicycle Program (莆田微笑公共自行车项目), which encourages people to value public transport and contribute to reduce emissions.

Another remarkable event held to celebrate World Bicycle Day took place in Qianhu Miao village in Xijiang, Guangzhou (贵州西江千户苗寨). Under the slogan “Clear waters and green mountains are as valuable as mountains of gold and silver” (绿水青山就是金山银山), the cycling activity that started on June 1 enabled people to experience life in the rural village. Its aims were to raise the public’s awareness of environmental protection and “eco-civilization construction”, and also to promote local tourism. Other activities, including the collection of rubbish and charitable donations, were held to further protect the ecosystem of the village.

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