Bike+10 promotes cycling in Czech Republic

An international cycling relay called Bike+10 which is meant to promote cycling as an alternative to car traffic started in the Moravian city of Brno ten days ago. The relay passed through the towns of Olomouc, Hradec Kralove and Pardubice and on Saturday, a group of cyclists arrived in Prague. The organisers held meetings in the city explaining to the public that cycling can be a healthier and environmentally friendly alternative to cars. Pavla Horakova went to one of the meetings on Sunday and spoke there to Petr Kurfurst of the civic association Carbusters.

Can you tell me what is happening here today?

"Well, since it's a Sunday, a nice hot summer Sunday, this was conceived as a sort of leisure day for the Bike+10 bike tour. This bike tour has been cycling around the Czech Republic for about a week and its main goal is to make the public aware that the World Summit on Sustainable Development is happening within two weeks in Johannesburg and that people themselves can do something for their environment. One of the things you can do is not to drive your car everywhere you go and try and cycle your bicycle and a part of this promotion of this bike ride is to make people aware that new cycling infrastructure is being built and that much more has to be built and that people themselves can push the authorities and the legislation bodies to make this country much more pleasant for cyclists."

According to a recent survey only one or two percent of Prague citizens use their bikes to travel around the city on a regular basis. But far more people say they would be glad to cycle to work if they had the right conditions for it. Most often people state smog and non-existing bike paths as the chief reasons why they prefer other means of transport.

The Bike+10 relay is an international project joining the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Yugoslavia and Poland. In the Czech Republic the project is organised by the Young Greens in cooperation with other environmental groups. After it leaves the Czech Republic, the relay will go on to Germany where it will end on the 15th of August in the city of Goettingen. Zdenek Hausvater is from the environmental pressure group the Young Greens.

"It's an international thing, about ten European counties will meet in Goettingen in the final camp which will last from the 11th till the 15th of August and the Czechs will meet the Polish and Berliners in Halle and then we will continue with them for five days of cycling to Goettingen where meet the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Belgians, the Dutch people and so on."