And why is cycling important for sustainability?

Welcome to the Sustainability Calendar blog, aimed at introducing you to events on the calendar, explaining why they are important to sustainability, and giving you resources for further information and how to get involved. Today, Bike Week!

Graphics: author; SDG graphics: UN

Introduction

Bike Week highlights the many benefits of cycling, from the obvious health and physical well-being benefits to mental well-being, community, social and environmental benefits. It is organised by Cycling UK and it takes place every June; in 2021 the dates are Sunday, 30 May to Saturday, 5 June.

From a sustainability perspective, cycling is important because it enables us to reduce journeys based on fossil fuels, importantly those short journeys that are particularly damaging in terms of emissions.

Cycling is also important to community health and well-being: taking cars off the road improves air quality, and raises the overall fitness levels of a community. Considered outside of its use in commuting, cycling also allows us to reconnect with and strengthen our bond with nature, allowing us to reach areas that might be inaccessible by car.

Themes

This year the theme is “health and wellbeing”, so focussing on the positives cycling can bring both physically and mentally. It’s never been more important to focus on our health, as we slowly emerge into a post-pandemic world, and with our mental well-being taking such a kicking in the last year and a half. Get out on your bike, get some exercise and use the opportunity to clear your head.

Getting involved and learning more

Suggested actions

  1. Get on your bike — either independently or as part of an organised event. Share your experiences on social media using the hashtags #BikeWeek or #7DaysOfCycling
  2. Learn about the benefits of cycling
  3. Support a bike-themed charity, such as World Bicycle Relief, Bike for Good, the Bike Project, or Re-Cycle.

If you know of other ways people can get involved I’d love to hear about them.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals

3. Good health and well-being

11. Sustainable cities and communities

Further Reading

Visit the official website for more information on the week and its events, and to learn more about how you can get involved.

Social Media

Follow wearecyclinguk on Instagram and on Twitter.

Related Days

5 August 2021: Cycle to Work Day (UK)

27 September to 1 October: Bike to School Week (UK)

4 May 2022: National Bike to School Day (US)

20 May 2022: Bike to Work Day (US)


The full 12-month calendar is here. I need your help to make this the best resource it can be. If you know of an event that’s missing, let me know either in the comments or on social media.