Weekend cycling tours in Vilnius. Lithuania

By News Editor / Updated: 29 Aug 2014

In order to promote cycling and allow people to try out cycling, The Healthy City Bureau in Vilnius organized weekend cycling tours for residents. As well as been enjoyable for participants, the cycling tours provided an opportunity for people to engage if discussions about wider environmental issues and the benefits of sustainable transport modes.

Background & Objectives

Vilnius a city of more than 500,000 inhabitants in the New Member State Lithuania does not have a very strong cycling culture. In order to try and encourage more people to cycle a series of local cycling tours were organized.The main objectives of the campaign were to;
  • Raise awareness of the importance of clean, energy efficient and sustainable transport
  • Encourage the city inhabitants of the city to ride bicycles and walk.
  • Highlight the value of the bicycle infrastructures in Vilnius
  • Establish cooperation between organizations that promote healthy lifestyle in Vilnius
  • Improve public health.

Implementation

As part of the wider ADDED VALUE project, The Vilnius Healthy City Bureau, the Lithuanian Youth Tourist Centre and The Society of Heath, Sports and Tourism organized the weekend cycling trips between May-September, 2008. In total 15 Sunday cycling tours, 2 per month were organized.>The routes were chosen so than cyclists could make stops at prominent cultural heritage objects and famous nature spots, in order to enrich their knowledge of Vilnius’s history and natural environment. There were no restrictions regarding participation in the trips.5 routes were chosen;
  • Route 1 started from the White Bridge (14km)
  • Route 2 started from Cathedral Square to the site of Belmontas (25km);
  • Route 3 started from Cathedral Square to Pū_koriai and Rokanti_kės mound (18km);
  • Route 4 started from Cathedral Square and to the Botanical Gardens in Kairėnai (22km);
  • Route 5 starts from Cathedral Square to Verkiai Manor (18km).

Conclusions

The cycling tours proved to be a great success with around 800 people participating. Most participants were male (73%), although, many participants were in family groups. Later analysis of participants feedback on the campaign, found that they placed a high value on the quality of the local environment, and very supportive towards the promotion of, and use of more sustainable transport modes, particularly cycling.The main barrier to the scheme concerned prevailing weather conditions, which sometimes restricted the numbers of people who participated in the cycling tours.
Topic: 
Archive
Country: 
Lithuania
City: 
Vilnius
Contact: 
Danguole Vaitkiene
Author: 
Danguole Vaitkiene
Keywords: 
20 Nov 2010
29 Aug 2014