Are we facing a cycling BOOM in the cities?

The cycling boom exists. Google has tracked the number of requests for cycling routes around the world between February and June 2020 via Google Maps, so in the middle of the pandemic. According to data published by the European Cyclists Federation(ECF), there is an increase of 69% compared to the same section last year.

Sometimes it seems that we only learn when we have the rope around our necks, we should listen to signals from the planet manifesting in unprecedented meteorological phenomena to assess the need for change.

A change that is no longer necessary but mandatory, a need to change our daily behavior and consumption to reverse an unsustainable situation.

Definitely, through the introduction of sustainable actions in our daily life (recycling, reuse and waste reduction), as well as the elimination of polluting behavior (use of private motorized vehicles, etc.) for more eco-responsible behavior; the main driver of change.

However, the solution is rather simple: use collective means of transport and / or means of transport with low or zero emissions (such as bicycles).

This new reality makes us face another setback, caused by the appearance of Covid-19, which has focused the need for bicycles as a mandatory means of transport.

“Social distancing”, imposed by the need to physically distance ourselves in our daily trips, with the sole goal of stopping the spread of the virus as much as possible, and consequently the impossibility of opting for collective means of transport (carpooling , bus, metro, etc.), we are therefore emphasizing the bicycle as an important vector in this process of cultural change.

There are several international cases such as Australia experiencing an unprecedented boom in bicycle sales, a phenomenon that experts say will be seen around the world.

In this life-changing stage, we have to raise the best scenario to return to our daily routines after the confinement stage. Although many of us are already regular bicycle users as the main means of transport, whether in our daily commute to work and shopping or in our spare time; many new users choose the bicycle as the best possible alternative.

Due to the growing concern for the environment and the need to social distancing to deal with Covid-19, we add a sharp drop in the purchasing power of the population, the most cost-effective means of transport in terms of environmental and economic benefits will be the means of transport whose use will increase in the coming months.

And you only need to see what’s going on in Australia to be able to predict our nearest future, retailers themselves have been surprised by the sales boom since the restrictions on coronavirus cells went into effect last month. You can frequently hear phrases like “We can’t keep up with sales. The phone literally rings non-stop “

“We are the new toilet paper and everyone wants one”, stated Grant Kaplan, manager of Giant Sydney, one of the largest stores in the city center, in The Guardian.We can’t keep up with sales. The phone literally rings non-stop.”, states Kaplan.

As announced in The Gardian,”at the beginning of the crisis, workers in this shop feared unemployment due to the Covid-19’s restrictions. But within a week of closing, the store was running additional shifts due to increased bicycle sales. Hence, the shop has had to stop providing workshop services, an important source of income, as the technicians focus on sales. Giant Sydney bills daily amounts over 20,000 euros“.

Meanwhile, BikeNOW (Melbourne) highlights the change in the customer based on the purchase of bicycles. Although your average customer is looking for high-end brand bicycles, now middle-class families want to buy bicycles, priced between 400 and 700 euros, to maintain the physical distance while cycling.

“Many customers tell us that they already had in mind to use the bike, but they had no time or motivation so far”,say those in charge. “Families are tired of walking everywhere to exercise. Children go home from school or are homeschooled. As doing all this by bike, you keep the distance between your partner in addition to healthy minded physical activity.l”.

Likewise, a second increase in bicycle sales is expected once people return to work “and they don’t want to risk taking public transport”. In Sydney, public transport use fell 75% in March, according to Transport for New South Wales. This is the least number of people using the transport network in nearly a century.

Australia is clearly on the right track. Do you think in Spain we will also experience an urban bicycle boom, allowing us to force the leaders to promote infrastructure, both on cycle lanes, signage and secure bicycle parking facilities? #WeRideAgainstClimateChange

Source: The Guardian / Cicloesfera

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