Spain arrives at position 18 in the Bike-Friendly ranking
Ahead we have countries like Holland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Norway ... but we can begin to feel proud because in terms of mobility we have made an important qualitative leap, since Spain has gone from position 23 in 2013 to 18 in 2015 in the ranking of Bike-Friendly countries, which measures factors such as the use of bicycles on a daily basis, safety and infrastructures.
According to experts, some cities such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Stockholm ... where there is a great cyclist tradition and its inhabitants use it frequently, they are no more prepared than the Spanish ones to use the bicycle, and although Spain has reached the put 18 in the 'Bike-Friendly' ranking, the brake to not use the bicycle is fear. And although cyclist mobility is an increasingly frequent reality, fear remains, nevertheless, an important obstacle for many young and not so young.
For this reason, in Madrid, the Stars Madrid Project has been launched, a program co-financed by the European Union, in which 35 schools in Madrid participate under the motto of "A class by bike or by walking".
The cyclist Carlos Blanco, Muévete Verde 2015 award for his promotion of cycling mobility and collaborator in Darwinians Radio Bike in the section "The shoehorn", says about urban mobility that "it is not that the city is not prepared for bicycles, but, above all, the vast majority of its inhabitants are not mentalized for it." The main brake is fear "
10 tips to overcome the fear of riding a bicycle
How do I overcome the fear of getting on the road even when I am an adult or experienced road or mountain biker? The bike platform in Madrid has developed a program Bicifindes and activists accompany this person to move and to remove that fear. But also, to overcome the fear of cycling around the city Blanco recommends the following:
1. Knowing the route is essential. It is not the same one distance as another or a terrain in slope or plain etc. Initiatives such as Bicibuses help overcome fear "a route that picks up children near their home, swelling a cyclist squad on their way to school". At present, there are about twenty buses in Madrid that are made, at least, one day per week.
2. You are not going to do sport, but to move. The goal is to be transported and not be - it is impossible - faster than the car. See normal dress, not with sports clothes or disguised as a Roman. It is not necessary to sweat, the idea is to move comfortably from one place to another.
3. The best choice to go comfortable is to have your own bicycle with which you feel comfortable riding. The best thing in town is to decide on an electric or eminently urban bicycle, because we repeat, you are not going to do sports.
4. Circulate through the center of the road, you can not go down the sidewalk. Even if it seems that going to the right edge is safer, it is not, since you do not protect yourself from the opening of parked car doors, apart from being you and your bicycle less visible to other drivers.
5. Red white and red front light is mandatory Yes you drive at night or with poor visibility.
6. In any case, it is mandatory to always wear a white front reflector and a red rear reflector and a bell.
7. The helmet is not mandatory according to the latest regulations except for those under 16 if they have an obligation to use the helmet by city. On the road, the helmet is always mandatory for everyone.
8. You can ride a bicycle with rain and very cold. The cyclist does not die because he gets wet. And if you drive with caution and without hurry, it does not have to be a greater danger. Forget about time as a deterrent.
9. Where to park or save the bike if you can not upload it to the office or class? Protect the bicycle, place it in a place where many people pass, minimum two locks a type u that takes the picture of the rear wheel and frame and a cobra that attaches the saddle. Without tying it to a tree but to something fixed like a fence, lamppost *
10. Know the municipal ordinance of your city. This will help you for example to know if you can upload the bicycle to public transport such as the subway and the time allowed among many other things.
Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice: Carlos Blanco, cyclist and prize Move Green 2015. Collaborator of Darwinians Radio Bike