Today we have reasons to cheer here at The Draft and in the whole cycling community. It would be, so to say, like our patron saint date, because what is being celebrated today is nothing less than World Bicycle Day. June 3rd is the chosen day by United Nations General Assembly to render a homage to one of the cleanest and most ecological forms of transports ever invented.
2019 is the second year in which we have this day, established after a resolution adopted in April 2018. The idea behind this date is to encourage UN member states to promote bicycles as quintessential sustainable, simple and affordable vehicles. Goals are to increase road safety, foster cycling among children and teenagers, and promote active transportation: cycling isn't only useful to go from one place to another, but also implies physical activity that makes people healthier and prevents diseases.
UN also recognizes another great advantage of bicycles: ecology. In a time when we're so concerned about climate change, we must remember that pedalling doesn't generate any greenhouse gases which may contribute to global warming. Whoever cycles instead of using a motor vehicle is doing his bit to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Another positive factor is the price. Generally, a bicycle means lesser expenses than a car or a motorbike, both when purchasing it and in its maintenance. These savings make it easier for people in developing communities to get access to means of transports, with all the benefits this fact can bring to their lives.
It is estimated that there are over a billion bicycles worldwide. In countries such as China, Belgium, Switzerland or Japan they have a great cycling culture; it's not unusual to see people of all ages commute or go to their studying centres by bike. There are places where this is even the first choice.
Anyway, there is still a lot to do. Too many times harmony between bicycles and other kinds of vehicles is hard to achieve. Streets and roads are usually designed for cars, and too often are a hazard for those who want to enjoy them in two wheels. Political leaders need to become aware of the importance cycling has, or should have, in our society. That's why today, more than ever, we should use such festivities to proclaim our pride in being cyclists.