Although this issue of our bulletin is largely concerned with electric vehicles, the real supporters of green traffic and ecological mobility are actually cyclists and pedestrians. “Fat cyclists”, “Just not by car”, “Streets for Cyclists” and “Critical Mass” – these are just some of many actions that citizens from urban areas have, who spontaneously gather together and spread the idea of environmental protection, healthy life and need for cleaner air in cities. And, of course, they enjoy cycling and hiking. We are using this opportunity to present them to you.
It comes as no surprise that not everyone is born to have athletic build throughout his life and to fit the standards of a classical athlete who brags with his slender body in tight latex Bermuda and even tighter top. However, the fact that we often enjoy doing nothing as well as having a good bite, should not prevent us from enjoying a light ride on a bicycle out of pure hedonism.
An example of this way of life is an informal group that presents itself as Fat cyclists. It brings together the lovers of culture, art, food, and drinks, who fight, with all their heart, with numerous actions for “green” streets and clear air.
Ivan Tobić, one of the founders of Fat cyclists, popular Smederevo and Belgrade musician, revealed why their rides and actions are real treats for those who love cycling, ecological activism and art, but also delicious food.
– We crossed more than a thousand kilometers on bicycles in order to play concerts, we grilled, and shared with friends, “cyclesauge”- a sausage in the shape of a bicycle, worthy of the Guinness World Records. We built recycled parking for fat cyclists, led the ban on the use of cars at Zemun Kej and each Easter traditionally organized a knightly tournament in egg cracking on bicycles.
– The trip to Florence, within the Ciklomotiva project, which motivates people to recycle cans or other materials, was one of the most inspiring efforts of the members of this small renaissance circle. All those who follow our travelogues, sort of picaresque novels, enjoy in our adventures as well. They inspired many to use bicycles as the most ecological and the healthiest way of moving – explains Ivan.
JUST NOT BY CAR
The campaign ”Just not by car” is being conducted in Belgrade as a one-day challenge for companies and public institutions. On the day of the competition, participants register their teams that will come to work on foot or by bicycle on that day (just not by car).
In the first year, 425 individuals from 36 companies and public institutions took part in the competition. Participants of “Just not by car” cycled or walked just over 4,000 km. In the second year of the competition, on the day of the challenge, 18th May 2017, 611 competitors from over 60 companies took part and crossed a total of more than 9,000 kilometers.
– The campaign aims to encourage companies and public institutions to think about urban mobility and motivate their employees to use alternative modes of transport. At the same time, the campaign affects the visibility of cyclists in Belgrade and shows us what Belgrade could look like if everyone would come to work “just not by car” – said Danilo Ćurčić, one of the organizers of this campaign.
The next action within the campaign “Just not by car” is planned for the European Mobility Week, in September 2017.
STREETS FOR CYCLISTS AND THEIR “CRITICAL MASS”
The Citizens Association “Streets for cyclists” is engaged in the promotion and public advocacy of bicycles as a daily means of transport in Belgrade.
– We are in favor of greener traffic because it is healthier for all of us. The idea of our association is to urge drivers of motor vehicles to look after cyclists in the streets on one hand, and on the other hand to encourage the construction of as many cycling tracks as possible so that we can pedal Photos: Bogdan Spasojević safely everywhere – said Zoran Bukvić from the association “Streets for bicycles”.
“Critical Mass” is an event organized around the world, and the idea is to draw attention to the problems of cyclists and as well as to promote bicycles as a mode of transport. Recently, 75th action “Critical mass” was held in Belgrade and the end of the ride there was a traditional picnic, which was held this time at Kalemegdan, below the Nebojša Tower.
– We gather every last Saturday in the month, no matter what the weather conditions are. Come! In addition to the fact it is fun to ride a bicycle with a company, “Critical Mass” is always an action for itself, as each carries a unique message and aims to draw attention to a specific, current problem that cyclists and other citizens face at the given moment – said Zoran.
Prepared by: Vera Rakić
This content was originally published in the eighth issue of the Energy Portal Bulletin, named ECOMOBILITY.