June 3 is celebrated as World Bicycle Day, after the United Nations established it in 2018. The initiator who established this day is a Polish former track cyclist Leszek Sibilski.
“The idea was evolving. At first, I wrote an article about cycling for the World Bank. It was titled ‘Cycling is Everyone’s Business’... then I wrote an article wondering why there is no such a day in the UN system,” he said.
“The bicycle has served humans for more than 200 years and nobody speaks about its loyalty and endurance in service for people. Bicycles are on all inhabited continents and they have outlived such inventions as the hourglass, abacus, writing quill, typewriter and telephone book.” Mr Sibilski added.
He emphasised that 12 out of 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals are directly associated with cycling with four more indirectly.
It was pointed out in the UN resolution on World Bicycle Day that, among other functions, the bicycle should be perceived as a means of transport “fostering sustainable development, strengthening education, including physical education, for children and young people, promoting health, preventing disease, promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace”. Furthermore, the UN encourages all people to use bicycles to develop “a culture of cycling in society”.
Leszek Sibilski is a former cyclist himself and was actively engaged in road and track cycling competition until 1983. He earned his PhD degree in Sociology from the Jagiellonian University of Kraków. Being a former member of the Polish National Olympic Cycling Team, he remains an active member of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee.
The UN resolution on World Bicycle Day can be read at this address.