By Evie Andreou
NICOSIA mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis on Wednesday called all Nicosians to help the town win the European Cycling Challenge for 2015 from among other 39 candidates and establish it as a cycling town.
The winner of the contest, which aims to promote cycling as a means of transportation within urban spaces, is the city that “rides” the longest total distance, according to its population. Nicosia is taking part in the challenge for the first time, from May 1 to 31.
“We call upon everyone to participate and give our best to promote our town and mainly to contribute so that the use of the bicycle becomes a way of life,” Yiorkadjis said.
He added that the challenge promotes environmental consciousness and contributes to raising awareness on the use of the bicycle.
He added that work will soon begin for the construction of a bicycle path network that will connect all universities of the capital, with financing from the EU Structural Funds.
The challenge’s opening bicycle ride around the outside-of-walls Nicosia will take place on Sunday at 10.30am, starting from Nicosia Town Hall. Blind cyclists and Turkish Cypriots are also expected to take part.
Participation is free and everyone interested in joining the capital’s efforts for a chance to win must visit www.cyclingchallenge.eu and sign up in Nicosia’s team.
They also need to download the free Cycling365 application available from Apple Store and Google Play, which they must activate when they move around on their bicycle so that their route is recorded.
The competition encourages the use of the bicycle to get to work, shopping and leisure, but sports cycling will not be taken into consideration. Accepted routes will be those that do not exceed 30 kilometres and whose average cycling speed is less than 25 km/h. Supporters of the effort are the Cyprus Cycling Federation, Nicosia Cyclists and the Nicosia Cycling Club.