If you don’t happen to live in cities like Copenhagen or Amsterdam, chances are that you still come across a number of obstacles when using a bicycle for your daily commute. The lack of proper road infrastructure and the real risk of accidents with cars can be a disincentive to potential cyclists. Now, a network of volunteers around the world has decided to alter this reality and make every day ‘bike to work day.’
Bike Anjo is a platform that believes the bicycle is not only a mode of transportation, but a tool for social change. By connecting experienced cyclists with people wishing to begin their experience on two wheels, the organization is transforming lives in multiple cities around the world. Founded in 2010 by JP Amaral in São Paulo, Brazil, Bike Anjo has already helped over 20,000 new cyclists in 24 countries.
Research shows that when the number of cyclists increase, the number of serious accidents decreases. In Copenhagen, between 1995 and 2006, the number of bike trips increased by 44% while cyclists deaths and serious injuries decreased by 60%. In England, there was a 12% drop in road injuries when bike traffic doubled.
Every May, cycling collectives around the world promote ‘bike to work’ campaigns. Bike Anjo – it translates as ‘bike angels’ – now wants to increase the number of bikes on the streets every day. “What motivates me is the energy and will of the people that help others to transform their cities,” says JP, who now has five thousand volunteers worldwide working to deliver the organisation aims.
Mostly, Bike Anjo wants to impact the quality of city life as well as improving public health, climate change and social exclusion in public spaces. “I joined Bike Anjo because I saw the possibility of transformation in people’s lives through the humanization of the city,” says Leo Grala, one of the volunteers.
For the future, the project aims to grow their network to 5 continents, gathering people to use bicycles to transform their cities all over the world.
Learn more at bikeanjo.org