World Bicycle Day

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

June 3 is World Bicycle Day, or better to say was, as it is past and very few people, myself included, seem to have been aware of it. But as it is annually we can be better prepared for next year and celebrate it in our own ways.

It is nice to see that the humble bicycle has got a world day nowadays and it is a shame that it has not been well publicized – or so, at least, it appears to me.

In April 2018, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 3 as World Bicycle Day. The resolution for World Bicycle Day recognizes “the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transport.”

Despite the fact that it has been declared several years ago now knowledge of the fact seems to be very thin on the ground. OK, the Day is only four years old so far but, nevertheless.

Had it not been for a Facebook post from Radio Havana Cuba I would have been blissfully unaware of this World Day honoring the humble two wheeler and it is for that reason that I use Radio Havana's picture in this post about it.

When it comes to environmentally friendly travel the humble bicycle can hardly be beaten and, aside from obviously the danger of an accident, the health benefits of cycling are legion. It is also the best “toy” any child can ever be given.

How do I stand as far as e-bikes are concerned in this equation, some may ask. While the e-bike is being hyped by many environmental writers – and I once did so as well – I have to say that, in my opinion, the standard, the simplest bicycle, will beat the e-bike hands down and that especially as to cost and maintenance.

The upfront cost of an e-bike is so much higher than that of an ordinary bicycle and every three to five years a new battery will be needed – as I have found out – and there is no guarantee that the new battery actually is as good as the original first one, as I have experienced. Therefore, all I can say, is let us stick with the old-fashioned bicycle, even though riding an e-bike is so much easier.

The old-fashioned bicycle beats the e-bike hands down especially in the maintenance and cost department. Most maintenance of an ordinary bicycle can be carried out by the use with even a minimum of skills and does not require a shop and mechanic to do it. No motor and such. However, what when the motor of an e-bike is having problems? OK, let's leave it then and just consider the benefits of the bicycle in general and especially in view of the World Day many of us missed to celebrate.

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