For many of us, riding a bicycle without training wheels is the first challenging physical activity we ever learn how to master. We all remember, don’t we? A running start. The protective hand secured to the bicycle seat is released. And then — ZOOM! — the child is off and peddling, and a lifetime of adventure and freedom awaits aboard a succession of beloved two-wheeled conveyances. In the spirit of that very first trip, let’s take a closer look at World Bicycle Day, June 3, shall we?
World Bicycle Day timeline
Leszek Sibilski, a sociology professor and cycling and physical education activist, writes a blog post for the World Bank titled, "Cycling Is Everyone’s Business."
Professor Sibilski publishes another blog post for the World Bank titled "Why is there no world day for the bicycle?" Momentum begins to build.
Sibilski speaks at the Scientists for Cycling colloquium in Taipei, Taiwan, and argues for a World Bicycle Day.
The United Nations officially designates June 3 as World Bicycle Day.
World Bicycle Day Activities
Plan a trip
No matter where you are in the world, we're sure that your city or town will look completely different once you start to explore it by bicycle. Many cities have dedicated bike lanes that allow you to ride at your own pace and convenience. And many bicyclists love to get outside of town to take in the sweeping vistas and wind-in-your-hair excitement of rural bicycling.
Acknowledge the worldwide celebration
European Cyclists’ Federation Secretary General Dr. Bernhard Ensink says of the United Nations' declaration of June 3 as World Bicycle Day: "Cycling is a source for social, economic and environmental benefits, and it is bringing people together."
Spread the word
World Bicycle Day is pretty much brand new — adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in April 2018. Let everyone know about this super cool celebration.
5 Things You Didn't Know About Bicycles
It's a dandy
The "dandy horse," and early forerunner of the bicycle, was invented by German Karl Drais and patented in February 1818. It was heavy — almost 50 pounds! — and powered by running the rider's feet along the ground.
Put the pedal down
A blacksmith in Scotland named Kirkpatrick Macmillan is generally credited with inventing the first pedal-driven bicycle in 1839.
A French bicyclist in America
Frenchman Pierre Lallement, living in Connecticut, filed the earliest American patent application for a pedal bicycle in 1866.
The "safety bicycle" was designed by English engineer Harry Lawson in 1876. It is now the most common type of bicycle, although nobody calls it by its original name anymore.
Why We Love World Bicycle Day
It's great exercise
Millions of people around the world use a bicycle as their primary means of transportation, meaning they get a healthy dose of physical activity as part of their daily routines. World Bicycle Day is the day to join them (if you don’t bike every day already!) as a special celebration of one of history’s best inventions.
It's good for the environment
The only power needed to ride a bicycle is foot power (or perhaps peddle power). And there's no dirty exhaust fumes to clog and smog up the air.
We get to share the road — and share your sense of adventure — with your fellow bicycling like-minds.
World Bicycle Day dates