Bike for Europe teams ready to meet after 1750km tour across Europe
After starting 3500km apart and cycling for 22 days to promote physical activity and social inclusion, the Bike for Europe north and south teams are set to meet each other at the official opening of the European Week of Sport on Saturday 22 September.
Press release 19 September 2018 – Vienna, Austria: Two teams of five cyclists from five different countries and two continents started their 1750km Bike for Europe cross-border cycling tour on 1 September to raise awareness about the benefits of active transport and physical activity for health, the environment and social inclusion. Now they are ready to come together for the first time in Vienna on 22 September at 13:30 CET as part of the official European Week of Sport (and Austrian Tag des Sports) opening ceremony programme.
The two teams have cycled through a total of 11 European countries, starting from the Netherlands and Greece respectively, and will meet on the #BeActive Village stage in Prater in Vienna, which is also hosting the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU, as a symbolic gesture of solidarity and peaceful mobility.
Bike for Europe is a cross-border cycling tour organised by the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) and co-funded by the European Commission as an official European Week of Sport event for 2018. The tour has contributed to the build-up to the annual event and will kick-off the Europe-wide celebration of the Week, which runs from 23-30 September. It also contributes to the European Mobility Week, which runs until 22 September.
The Bike for Europe tour travelled along several EuroVelo routes, through UCI Bike Regions and parts of the Cycling Cities network in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece.
Cycling advocates, including the Deputy Head of the EU Sport Unit, Marisa Esteban, and Brussels Minister Pascal Smet, responsible for Mobility and Public Works, joined on-route or off-route events in 17 countries around Europe, and over 10,000 recreational cyclists raised funds for bicycles for organisations working with people in need by contributing to the Donate Your Kilometres Challenge, which is running until 23 September. UCI Cycling For All partnered in the side events organised in the Bike for Europe North Tour.
Bike for Europe Coordinator Laura-Maria Tiidla says the support for these initiatives both within and outside Europe is a testament to the power of everyday citizens to make a difference – not only to their own health and wellbeing, but to their fellow citizens’ as well.
“The support for Bike for Europe across the continent has helped us achieve above and beyond our initial goals, thanks to the enthusiasm and generosity of recreational cyclists and advocates worldwide. We needed to raise 3 million kilometres to buy 100 bicycles for people in need and now we have over 4 million and a €1000 donation from the Province of Drenthe in the Netherlands to buy even more bicycles. So the tour has highlighted a united movement promoting active transport and social inclusion across borders,” she says.
Deputy Head of the EU Sport Unit, Marisa Esteban, says awareness raising initiatives like Bike for Europe are important in drawing attention to the importance of physical activity in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“The Bike for Europe initiative is very relevant and it’s timely. 1.6 billion adults are at risk of deadly illnesses, worldwide, because of the lack of physical activities, so the main goal of Bike for Europe is to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity, and really goes to meet this alarming and pressing need,” she said in Brussels during the Bike for Europe side event there.
The teams’ progress towards Vienna is being tracked on the official website until their arrival on Saturday at http://nowwebike.nowwemove.com/
Press contacts and for further inquiries:
Laura Maria Tiidla
Bike for Europe Project Coordinator at ISCA