How many times have you used your car this week? It´s hard to say, but I bet it’s certainly several times. And how many times have you ridden your bicycle? Easy to answer, probably because it was just a few times or none. Perhaps it’s the lack of the necessary infrastructure in Brazilian cities for bike riders or just our lack of habit that is the reason many of our bicycles are collecting dust at home. Nonetheless, there is a rising number of people who are now starting to opt for a two-wheel ride around town – a revival of an oldie, but a goodie.
There are many challenges in the big cities of Brazil when we talk about urban mobility and the use of bicycles. When compared to the European cities, Brazilian cities lag far behind in terms of appropriate infrastructure to ensure bicyclists a safe way to get around. Maybe, if there was more and safer bike paths through the cities, bicycling would not just be an occasional hobby or sport, but a chosen mode of transportation for more commuters.
In spite of the lack of appropriate bike paths, there’s still a burgeoning citizen movement to revive the use of the bicycle. It’s called the “Cycle Chic” movement, a term coined by Mikael Colville-Andersen in 2006. The phenomenon is going viral the world over. In the big capitals of Brazil such as Curitiba, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, it’s already very popular. It was originated with the idea of biking in one’s “day to day” clothes, instead of the typical work-out wear.
It was influenced by European cities such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris, and Berlin, where bicycles are used on a large scale by numerous citizens going to work, school, or college on a daily basis.
Some of the benefits to going “Cycle Chic” include having access on almost any route with a smaller two wheel vehicle, and it saves time looking for a parking spot! You’re also helping reduce pollution from cars by choosing a greener way to travel.
“Cycle Chic” celebrates the original reason the bicycle was invented – primarily to get people from one place to another. Before being a hobby, bicycling was primarily a means for locomotion, and, generally, the clothes didn’t matter.
And now, with summer arriving, it’s a great time to think about exercising more by getting out of the car and onto your bike. Save money on gas, refresh your mind, and feel the wind caress your face! Go ride a bike!
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