BMX initiations, slow bike races and bicycle-related games are among a host of activities planned at the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland, for World Bicycle Day on June 3rd.
School children and members of the public are invited to take part in the celebrations taking place at the headquarters of the Union Cycliste Internationale.
World Bicycle Day: a short history
On 12 April 2018, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared June 3rd World Bicycle Day, adopting a resolution introduced by Turkmenistan and co-sponsored by 56 member countries. In formalising this day of recognition, the UN acknowledged “the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health”.
To mark the second edition of this historical milestone, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has joined with the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Switzerland to host the interactive celebrations on Monday 3 June at the UCI WCC.
Activities for everyone
The UCI is expecting several hundred children from schools in Aigle who will take part in a series of fun cycling activities, including – but in no way limited to - BMX initiations, slow races, and bike polo games. Later in the day, adults will have the chance to complete the same cycling discovery circuit, and learn about different types of bicycles, cargo bikes and original bike prototypes.
Around midday, members of the public are invited to join UCI staff members for a bike ride to Torgon, the ski resort that recently hosted the finish of the Queen Stage of the 2019 Tour de Romandie. The public will also have the chance to witness the skills and speed of the UCI WCC’s talented track and BMX athletes, who have come from all over the world to train at the UCI WCC. More than a few of them aim to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Following the afternoon of activities, an evening ceremony in the velodrome will be attended by local and state authorities, international sporting organisations and UN agencies.
Joining with charities to celebrate the bike
To further promote the long lasting impact of the bicycle worldwide, and in particular Africa, the UCI will also be collaborating with two charities for World Bicycle Day: Velafrica and World Bicycle Relief.
The UCI will be organising a used bicycle collection drive on behalf of the Swiss organisation Velafrica: members of the public are invited to bring bikes in any condition to the UCI World Cycling Centre on June 3rd, which will then be restored, in collaboration with Swiss social institutions, and transported to Africa.
Meanwhile, representatives from World Bicycle Relief will engage with schoolchildren and members of the public to share the positive impact the Buffalo Bike has had in numerous rural communities in Africa.
Even those unable to attend the UCI WCC activities can take part in the celebrations by participating in a Ride for World Bicycle Day Challenge on the social fitness network, Strava. Cyclists from all around the world are invited to join the UCI Cycling Club and post their ride on June 3rd. For every 2000km ridden by club members on the day, the UCI will donate one Buffalo Bike for WBR to send to Africa. Every kilometre counts, whether it is ridden during a race, a social ride or commute to work!
The UCI looks forward to welcoming participants of all ages to the UCI World Cycling Centre on 3 June and invites everyone to take their bikes and ride for World Bicycle Relief!