Last Friday 7 November the Embassy of the Netherlands in Cairo held the Orange Bike Day, a cycling tour in Cairo. This is the third successive year to hold the festival and, like the previous ones, it met with huge success. With this tour the Embassy hopes to draw attention to the potential of bicycles as a clean and efficient means of transport.
“The Embassy started the Orange Bike Day in Egypt back in 2012 with around 400 participants. The Embassy promised to provide follow up to the cycling event. We fulfilled our promise in 2013. Last year the event was even more successful, and the number of participants increased to around 900. This encouraged us to decide to make the Orange Bike Day an annual event,” says Gerard Steeghs, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Egypt.
Some 3000 participants joined in this year’s Orange Bike Day, among them this Watani reporter.
The Netherlands is known worldwide as a pioneer in developing an extensive cycling policy and matching infrastructure. The aim is to lessen traffic and pollution within cities, and to promote low-cost, healthy means of transportation.
Ambassador Steeghs highlights the relevance of cycling for Egypt, at the same time noting that bicycle lanes are already being promoted in several Egyptian cities. He points out, however, that the acceptance of bicycles in traffic by ordinary road users still has a long way to go in Egypt. “Nevertheless, events like Orange Bike Day could help in creating a critical momentum that would enable a wider use of bicycles, and so furthering their acceptance in traffic,” he says.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has promoted cycling as a clean means of transportation when he led a Friday early morning cycling marathon back in June 2014, on the first weekend after he was sworn in.
11 November 2014