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I Bike Budapest 2015
2015 Orient Express Tour Leader & TDA 2006 alumnus Gergo Szanyi reports on the growth of cycling in his home town of Budapest.
The “I Bike Budapest” event was organized by the Hungarian Cyclists’ Club and is something very similar to the classic Critical Mass events (CM). In the last ten years here in Budapest we had very successful CM events at the beginning and end of the cycling season. The World Earth Day in April and the European Mobility Day/Car Free Day at the end of September are a great occasion to get in the saddle. It is all very official. A safe route through the city is closed for other traffic and we work together with the police. I quickly found myself as an organizer/helper – one out of about 300 volunteers. The CM guys stopped organizing the event two years ago. They said the reason to cancel was that the event was created to make cycling in Budapest more popular and by then it had become really popular.
In the best year of the CM there were 100 000 – 120 000 people riding together for better facilities like more bike lanes, bike paths, safe bike locking areas, showers at the offices, etc. The number of everyday commuter cyclists doubled year by year. Nowadays, a significant percentage of locals use cycling as their main method of transportation. Still, we were still missing some important cycling infrastructure around the city so to remind the authorities and leaders of the growing cycling community the Hungarian Cyclists’ Club called all the bicycle lovers to come together for another ride – “I Bike Budapest“.
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