Athens Bike Festival

This weekend the sixth Athens Bike Festival was organised from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 September. This event is becoming more popular during the years. It started with 15.000 in 2010 visitors and 35.000 people in 2014 visited the festival. This event shows that Athens is a city with a growing cycling culture. This festival is a platform for cyclists and sympathizers to show and share their experiences with the bike in Athens. There were many activities; I would like to highlight a few.

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I went to the festival on Saturday to participate in a workshop called Introducing and supporting Cyclelogistics in Greek cities. Due to negative impacts of the carlike air pollution, congestion, safety issues, the bicycle is seen as a potential solution for these problems.  Not only as a medium for citizens to commute but also as a medium for transporting cargo. Many transportation of goods are transported via motorized modes of transport. However, the bike could be an ideal alternative to deliver (light) cargo. This workshop aimed to show the potential of bicycles as a potential player in urban transport. One example was Andrea Saccon, who started his cargo services in Parma (See: https://vimeo.com/91788560).

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Furthermore, Safe Cycling in Athens was an important issue during the festival. For kids, there was an educational program where they got lessons in wearing safety equipments (such as a helm) and how to behave safely on the bike in the traffic. There was also a special kids spot, to show their learned lessons in practice. They got instructions from special coordinators. Overall, an interesting experience!

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