The Cycle Parade is one of the great traditions of the annual Velo-city global cycling summits, always a chance the participants to let their hair down a bit and cycle through the streets of the host city with the local population. For idonotdespair this is the sixth I have blogged – including Vancouver, Vienna, Adelaide, Nantes, Taipei and now Arnhem-Nijmegen. Having attended nine versions of Velo-city in a row the bike ride is an essential time for catching up with friends and contacts who I can spot on their bikes and ride with for a while, the conference is often far too busy for a chat.
This year in Nijmegen lived up to expectations, with a 12 kilometre route that took in the city, its cycling infrastructure and the ended up in in hipster central. (In this case a former soup factory by the River Waal, now a renovated industrial area with start-up incubator, fine coffee, artisan beer and a cargo bike business, inhabited by men in retro chic with beards – need I say more?)
My small galleries take in just a few of the scenes and the people that I enjoyed meeting, riding on my Dutch bike. (click on any gallery to expand the images)
Glorious sunshine all the way round was obviously planned so that the delegations from places like Hawaii, Spain or Zambia could feel right at home, even if they don’t normally experience Dutch dedicated cyclestreets and cycling highways. Music was all round with a wide selection of bands on the street corners which gave it suitably summery feeling.
At the end of the ride we took in the fading rays of the sun and the bars struggled to cope with the queues of hot, thirsty and hungry cyclists, but the first cold beer was very, very welcome.
Next year in Rio de Janerio. Now there’s a city that knows how to put on a parade. My carnival costume is under construction – apparently sequins and feathers are essential.