|Odense has worked for many years to promote cycling among citizens of Odense. We believe in encouraging through campaigns and we both invent our own campaigns as well as supporting the national campaigns to reach all target groups.|
Children cycle to school
In Odense 80 % of children either cycle or walk to school. In the process of promoting cycling in Odense, there is a great focus on motivating children and their parents to use the bicycle.
Experience shows that if you haven’t been a cyclist as a child, it is not very likely that you become one as a grown up; therefore is it important to incorporate cycling as a healthy habit from an early age.
As early as in kindergarten, the City of Odense urges the children’s parents to cycle with their children instead of driving them.
To support this, Odense has carried out several campaigns for children in kindergartens, such as lending out bicycle trailers and visits from the Odense cycle mascot, the chicken Cycle Anton.
|Recently Odense has carried out a campaign about “Running bike”; 50 running bikes were delivered out to a number of institutions along with books about cycling games.|
||When children reach school age, they are informed about safe routes to school and ideas on how their parents can practise the way to school with them. |
During the whole school process, campaigns are being carried out to improve safety and also to encourage children to use their bicycle on a daily basis.
One of the most successful campaigns takes place at the beginning of every school year; it is a national campaign called All Children Bike – here school classes compete with each other about which class cycles most within a month. Furthermore, Odense has developed a helmet campaign for the oldest classes; it has turned out to be a big success and will in the current year expand to the rest of the region of southern Denmark.
|To make parents let their children travel by bike, it is important that both parties feel safe and secure on the roads. Therefore, every fourth year, a school road analysis is carried out to point out dangerous roads and crossings. This year Odense has built a tunnel beneath one of the bigger roads and re-established a huge intersection in order to secure children’s ways to school.
|Cycling for elderly people|
It is important to be active - every day, especially when you are older and no longer have the daily activities associated with a job. Studies have shown that half hour of moderate exercise every day has a positive impact on preventing illnesses, such as heart diseases, diabetes, mental disorders and obesity. It also increases the quality of life, the psychical state and strengthens the immune system.
Studies have also shown that the 70-80 year olds get a better heart function, if they start to exercise. Replacing short car trips with a bike ride is associated with a number of health benefits besides benefiting the environment. The City of Odense has therefore organized, in cooperation with eight volunteer bicycle mentors, guided bike rides for the elderly; bicycle trips of different lengths and at different places in Odense. There are up to 15 participants on the tours in addition to two bike mentors.
Bicycle training for immigrants
The bicycle is a natural choice of transport for many citizens in Odense, but this is not the custom in many places. Especially for foreign nationalities it can be a radical change to move to Odense and have to get used to the bicycle culture. Since 2002 there have therefore been organized bicycle training courses for immigrant women in order to learn to ride a bike. Bicycle training consists of both a theoretical and practical part. The theoretical part includes teaching traffic rules, while the practical part begins on a driving track. Then the participants are comfortable riding the bike before they will use it in real traffic. Bicycle training is very popular among the participants and there are waiting lists to join the course.
From car driver to cyclist
A lot of people enjoy cycling, but for many people using the car has become a habit, that can be hard to change. Many trips made by car could easily be done by bike instead. To support this, Odense has spent the last decade working purposely on campaigns that can change this pattern.
In the spring of 2010 the municipality of Odense is carrying out an ambitious campaign for electric bicycles. This campaign is the first of its kind in Denmark and the target group is car drivers with more than 5 km to work. 100 car drivers signed up to use the electric bike during the campaign which runs for 6 months.
The Danish bicycle company Kildemoes has great experience developing electric bikes and was a natural choice for the campaign.
The purpose of the campaign is to show the car drives that distance and physical condition doesn’t have to be an obstacle or a reason to choose the car instead of the bike. Furthermore, with this campaign we want to deal with the prejudice that electric bikes are for the old and weak.
Both before and after the campaign, all the participants must have a health check. This is an easy and reliable way to see, whether there are any changes in the participant’s condition after using the electric bike for 6 months. As a supplement to the health check, there is also an interview and a questionnaire about lifestyle.
For more information about Odense Cycle City please contact us at email@example.com.