Early 19th Century gave birth to the bicycle, a vehicle for human transportation which has two wheels and requires balancing by the rider. Ever since its manufacture, the bicycle has been quietly contributing its quota to man’s transportation activities, and much more, the bicycle is eco-friendly, does not pollute the air. Much more is the health benefits derivable from regular cycling.
In the light of its global relevance and broad-wide benefits, the United Nations sets aside the 3rd of June annually as the World Bicycle Day. According to the UN resolution of April, 2018, ‘ The bicycle can serve as a tool for development and as a means not just of transportation but also of education and healthcare.
The announcement was made during the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York at the adoption of a resolution by 193-member states. The spirit of the declaration is an invitation to member states to promote, embrace and encourage cycling.
Furthermore, the resolution gives recognition to the reliability, longevity, and versatility of the bicycle being simple, affordable, clean and environmentally- apt sustainable transportation system. In addition, the bicycle serves as a tool of development as a result of giving access to education, sports and healthcare.
The synergy between the bicycle and the cyclist encourages creativity and social engagement and gives the cyclist an awareness of his immediate local environment.
The prelude to the global day of the bicycle has in its toll issues of neglect of the pedestrians and cyclists. In a statement of Share the Road Programme Annual Report 2018, the lack of mobility needs of this class of people in cities across the world is cited as of paramount concern for safety of lives. In the same vein, the World Health Organization says safe infrastructure for walking and cycling is another pathway to the achievement of greater health equity. WHO’s position is that prevention of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, stroke and even death can be achieved in the poorest urban areas where the citizens cannot afford automobiles and as a result engage in walking and cycling as forms of transportation system.
In addition, the bicycle serves as a tool of development as a result of giving access to education, sports and healthcare
The World Bicycle Day is here to encourage UN member states to devote more specific attention to the bicycle in their bids to cross-cut development strategies, including it in international, regional, national, and sub-national development policies and programmes.
Similarly, member states and stakeholders are encouraged to actively plan and execute safe walking and cycling infrastructure in their transport planning design especially to protect pedestrians and cyclists . Road safety is key if the bicycle will have its pride of place in its relevance as a cheap means of short distance transport system and as a physical exercise tool. Cases of fatal accidents have been recorded in recent years in urban cities where the hustle bustle is heightened on major roads. Cyclists are very vulnerable to such accidents unless stakeholders stand up to the situation and put measures and road users rules and regulations in place. In essence, this will reduce the cases of mortally , injuries, and non-communicable diseases.
Another thrust of the global bicycle Day is to encourage stakeholders to emphasise and advance the use of the bicycle as a tool of fostering development , tolerance, strengthening physical education, preventing diseases, promoting mutual respect, understanding , bringing about social inclusion and establishimg a culture of peace.
The day is also to charge member states to adopt best practices and means to promote the bicycle among all members of society and in that instance embrace programmes such as bicycle rides at all levels of the society as a means of strengthening physical and mental health of the participants. Thereby, developing a culture of cycling in every strata of the society.
The day will also remind that a bicycle “is a symbol of sustainable transportation and conveys a positive message to foster sustainable consumption and production, and has a positive impact on climate.”
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