RIO DE JANEIRO – Around 2,000 bicycle riders on Wednesday cycled on a six-kilometer route through the city of Rio de Janeiro during the Velo-City 2018 Rio Conference, the largest international congress on bicycles and urban mobility.
Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of Tourism, Marcelo Alves, told EFE that “cycling, urban mobility and cycle tourism are increasingly becoming prominent” and that they are “fundamental for Rio’s growth, for health and sustainability. Also, it is a business that generates income and employment.”
Thousands of cyclists began their route in the port area, where the conference takes place, and headed to the finish line at Aterro Flamengo, one of the main roads in the southern part of the city.
“People in Rio welcome the conference with open arms. For a long time cycling has been part of our life, and we need to invest more and promote this activity, so that the city wins, so that the people of Rio win,” Alves added.
“I really want to participate because I love to ride my bike,” Anna, an Australian participant who was waiting on her bike at the beginning of the route, said.
Natalia, a Brazilian participant, considered that “it is important that an event like Velo-City is held in Rio” because “it is an example of how the culture of cycling can be beneficial to the city.”
Velo-City 2018 Rio kicked off on Tuesday and will last until Friday, with 165 speakers from 34 countries.
According to the organizers, numerous conferences will explore topics such as health, public infrastructure, sustainable economy, as well as influencing social inclusion in Rio through cycling.