I know everyone’s not as bicycle fanatic as I am, but who wouldn’t love a bicycle day?
In the town where I grew up, Alingsås, the local Transition Group spent last Sunday (which also happened to be Mother’s Day in Sweden) celebrating bikes in all their forms and shapes in one of Alingsås’ parks where this group also has a community garden.
People could try different kinds of bikes, like a box bike, an electric bike, a unicycle ( a bike with only one wheel) and a tandem. A bicycle repair shop was also there, doing basic bike service for free.
Another fun thing was a service where people could get help to calculate the real cost of their car. Using a graphic that we have already published in Effekt, the Transition Group not only counted what people pay for petrol and parking, but also insurance, tyres, services, taxes etc. According to Ylva Lundin from the group, not everyone was as eager to listen to the answers…
A second interesting aspect with these graphics is that they also calculate how much time a car trip really takes, if you take into account the hours you have to work just to afford the car. Then the bike wins, at least if you live in a big city and move shorter distances (for anyone who is interested, the graphics can be found here, but unfortunately all text is in Swedish).
To calculate the real cost of your own car, try this calculator at the Swedish Consumer Agency’s website (autotranslated into Swedish).
The Transition Group of Alingsås had also sent several bike-related questions to the municipality, asking for example for more and improved bicycle lanes, more bike parkings with roofs, “walking schoolbuses” and other things. And, to their happy surprise, they got answers showing that the responsible civil servants already are aware of many of the problems and doing quite a lot to include them in their future plans.
“There you see, it is possible to influence!” was the reaction from Ylva Lundin.