UCI Mobility & Bike City Forum celebrates the power of the bike in Glasgow

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), in collaboration with Glasgow Life and the University of Strathclyde, hosted the fourth edition of the UCI Mobility and Bike City Forum in Glasgow, Scotland (Great Britain). The two-day Forum took place in the city’s Technology and Innovation Centre at the end of last month.

Participants had an opportunity to hear the different ways cycling – both as a sport and form of transport – continues to promote positive impact in several domains, such as social inclusion, public health and the fight against climate change.

2023 UCI Cycling World Championships: an inspiration

Cycling leaders, advocates, mobility experts, industry representatives and policy makers were among some 110 participants who gathered in Glasgow, which was awarded the UCI Bike City Label in 2019. A fitting host as Glasgow will, alongside regions across Scotland, welcome the first 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships from 3 to 13 August 2023. The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships aim to be a catalyst to inspire and support Scotland’s approach to cycling as:

  • a competitive sport

  • a healthy recreational activity

  • a sustainable transport solution

  • a powerful tool against climate change.

Many examples of practical implementation were shared by local representatives during the day’s discussions.

Pro rider Alex Dowsett among the speakers

UCI Cycling for All & Sustainable Cycling Commission President Tony Mitchell delivered the opening speech, alongside Glasgow City Council Leader Councillor Susan Aitken, British Cycling Policy Advisor Chris Boardman, and 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships CEO Trudy Lindblade.

The UCI Mobility and Bike City Forum’s keynote speech was given by British rider Alex Dowsett. A professional rider, two-time Giro d’Italia stage winner, former holder of the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot, cycling coach, and founder of the Little Bleeders charity, Alex Dowsett shared how haemophilia led him into a life in cycling. In particular, he explained how his charity helps raise awareness of haemophilia and encourage other young haemophiliacs to take up safe sports as a way of managing their health and well-being with a rare blood disorder.

UCI Bike Cities and the role they play

The UCI Bike City Label trophies were awarded to representatives of the two regions that joined the UCI Bike City & Region network in 2022: the province of Noord-Brabant (the Netherlands) and the canton of Vaud (Switzerland). The UCI Bike City Label aims to maximise the legacy impact of cycling events by creating examples around the world of how cities can create better, safer streets for all people on bikes, regardless of age, level of fitness or cycling activity.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Australian city of Wollongong, which was awarded the UCI Bike City Label in 2021 and hosted the 2022 UCI Road World Championships, detailed its cycling for all initiatives.

Key messages from the experts

The input from Destination Wollongong and Wollongong City Council was just one part of the expert

panels and presentations held throughout the day dealing with topics including cycling cities; cycling and climate change; the cycling industry and socio-economic development; and sport as a tool for social inclusion. These panels were addressed by 16 speakers, including representatives of the Institute of Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP), Edinburgh City Council, Bike Auckland, the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), Loughborough University London, the Tour of Scandinavia, CONEBI, the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Shimano Europe, Nextbike UK, the Scottish Government, Outride, Qhubeka, Women on Wheels, and the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

Key messages included:

  • sport has the power to enable cities to reinvent themselves and encourage social change

  • political will and multi-sectorial partnerships play an important part in strengthening cycling

  • sustained investment in cycling and active travel is necessary, as is their recognition as solutions when it comes to climate change

  • academic research has the potential to strengthen the promotion of cycling.

Attendees also learned of inspiring global transformational societal change achieved through cycling NGOs, events and charitable organisations.

On the second day of the Forum, three different bike tours – and one walking tour – were organised, taking in infrastructure connecting communities, social impact projects, and a track cycling initiation at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The team from local charity Bike for Good led the rides, with Nextbike UK providing its OVO bike share bikes to the participants. The two days of active learning ended with an interactive workshop for all UCI Bike Cities and Regions, allowing them to share projects and updates with other members of the network.

2023 UCI Mobility & Bike City Forum

The 2023 UCI Mobility & Bike City Forum will be held in Bruges, in Belgium’s UCI Bike Region Flanders, on 25-26 October 2023. More information regarding the 2023 Forum will be shared early 2023 on UCI platforms.

See the highlights from the 2022 UCI Mobility and Bike City Forum. To access recordings from the event, all the Forum sessions will be published on the UCI website in the coming days.