World Bicycle Day also known as International Bicycle Day is a global celebration on June 3rd. It's supported by the United Nations and aims to promote physical activity and the use of bicycles for transportation.
It encourages people to choose cycling as a greener option and raises awareness about the importance of creating safer cycling infrastructure in cities.
History of World Bicycle Day
The United Nations General Assembly declared June 3rd as World Bicycle Day in 2018, after a campaign by Professor Leszek Sibilski, a social scientist who worked for the UN.
He gained the support of students in his sociology class and 56 UN member countries. Together, they pushed for a UN Resolution to create an international day dedicated to celebrating the bicycle, its history, versatility, and sustainability.
Why we Celebrate World Bicycle Day
This is a holiday that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of age, gender, or nationality. So, the UN wants World Bicycle Day to highlight the bicycle should be seen as a symbol of mutual understanding which promotes a culture of peace.
The bicycle has a rich history and great cultural significance. It stands as one of the most important human inventions, as it provides people with a means of transport that is affordable and practical while helping them stay healthy.
Many people across the world rely on their bicycles to go about their daily lives, and access education and health care. Not just that, the bicycle is one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly means of transportation.
By encouraging people to cycle, World Bicycle Day shows how important it is to have infrastructures in place for safe cycling. In the long run, this will have a great positive impact on the planet.
Finally, staying active and cycling regularly is a great way to stay healthy and fit. Cycling helps reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and certain cancers.
In recent years, World Bicycle Day has been associated with the prevention of diabetes and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle for those who suffer from it.
Currently, only around 12% of Americans cycle regularly, which is particularly low compared to the 23% of Canadians who, in surveys, say they ride a bike for leisure and/or to commute to work.
By promoting awareness of this day, hopefully, more people across both countries will take up cycling.
How to celebrate World Bicycle Day
Ditch your car or public transportation for the day, and get on a bicycle. You might discover new areas of your city, make some friends, and enjoy the good Summer weather.
Encourage friends and family to join you, you might all become regular cyclists!
While riding a bike today you can participate in World Bicycle Relief's campaign #CyclingActsofKindness. The idea is to do something nice while riding a bicycle, this could be visiting an elderly relative, dropping off some food for a friend, or offering to pick up a neighbor’s groceries.
Facts from the world of bicycles
The first bicycles, also known as "velocipedes," were invented in the early 1800s. They had no pedals and were propelled by pushing off the ground with your feet.
The first practical bicycle, with pedals and a chain drive, was invented in 1861 by Frenchman Pierre Michaux.
The longest bike in the world was built in Australia in 2020, measured 47.5 m (155 ft 8 in) long, and was ridden by Bernie Ryan.
The fastest speed ever achieved on a bicycle is 183.932 mph (296.009 km/h), set by American cyclist DeniseMueller-Korenek in 2018.
The world's most expensive bicycle, called the "Butterfly Trek Madone," was designed by artist Damien Hirst and covered in real butterfly wings. It sold at auction for $500,000 in 2009.