Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

Bike Fest

Bike Fest

Bike Fest is a colourful and dynamic celebration of bike-riding, designed by Green Revolution to bring together bikers of all kinds: women, men, children, extreme sport fans, advocates of urban cycling, beginners and advanced users. It blends the competitive nature of a sports event, a pentathlon, with the engaging and entertaining structure of a festival focused on bike culture and advocacy.

The main attraction of BikeFest is I’Velo Pentathlon, a cycling contest featuring five events. Registration is free of charge and the prizes consist of cool bikes, offered by sponsors. Anyone can compete, even if he/she doesn’t own a bike, because we provide the vehicles from the bike-sharing centres run by our NGO.

The first event of the pentathlon is a cycling tour that crosses the capital. The route is Herastrau Park – Charles de Gaulle Square – Victoriei Square – Victoriei Street – Natiunile Unite Avenue – Izvor Park. Finishing the race is mandatory for those who want to take parts in the following events, too.

The second event involves agility and has two stages: slow motion and handling. By passing the slow motion test, a biker proves that he/she is able to adapt in pedestrian areas. The slowlier the biker goes, the better. By passing the handling test, a biker proves that he/she is able to avoid danger that occurs in urban traffic, that being either an unforeseen obstacle, such as a car, motorcycle, pedestrians, uneven carriageway. Thus, we test their ability to maintain their balance with one hand on the handlebar, the ability to sprint and speed under certain circumstances.

The third event also consists of two tests: a quizz and a demonstration of technical skills. The quizz mainly checks a biker’s knowledge of legislation that applies to bike circulation on public roads. On the other hand, the demonstration of technical skills requires knowledge of bike components. Thus, the biker will be asked to identify various bike components and also to perform basic adjustments.

The fourth event checks a biker’s physical strength and all competitors are asked to pull some weights with the bike.

The fifth event involves stationary bikes and it tests the ability to adapt effort and speed according to the route distance and characteristics.

Apart from the offline buzz, Bike Fest uses social media channels and a Facebook fan page is created for each year’s edition. Last year, an online photo contest on urban bike mobility, called “Bucharest on bike”, was organised so as to choose the best photographer to cover Bike Fest. The grand prize consisted of a camera offered by one of the sponsors and an outdoor photo exhibition.

Women were in the limelight at Bike Fest and they were gracefully represented in a bike fashion catwalk. Once again, the Facebook fan page was used to spread the news and invite chic girls to display their attire on bikes at Bike Fest. The community of female bikers shared the history of female bikers both in words and in pictures.

Children also benefited from special attention, in the junior area, where they could learn to ride a bike and follow traffic rules.

Last, but not least, Bike Fest targeted the most experienced bike users. They were assigned a special area where they performed cool tricks on bikes and they taught amateurs how to repair their bikes.

The bike had the leading role in the movies projected in another Bike Fest area and it was also the main subject of conversation in the debate tent. The attendees either shared bike stories, or exchanged opinions on increasing bike modal share.

For those looking for a new bike to show off, an old bike to count on or just some spare parts, Bike Fest had all the answers. On one hand, Bike expo featured the latest and coolest bike models and on the other hand, the bike bazaar had used bikes and bike components for sale.

Last year, there were more than 500 people competing in the Bike Fest pentathlon and the number of visitors was of 3,500.

The project takes place every year and it is meant to promote bike-riding as a cool and healthy alternative to the conventional means of transportation.

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Nicoleta Cirjan

Bucharest, Romania

Category: Advocacy and Social Projects

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