Ciclaveiro contribution to the Cycling Promotion Guide

No âmbito da actual presidência holandesa da União Europeia (UE), os Ministros de transportes e ambiente dos 28 países da UE vão reunir-se no próximo dia 14 de Abril em Amesterdão e, coincidindo com o início do Cycling Festival Europe, ser-lhes-á entregue um ‘guia de promoção da bicicleta’ com boas práticas de toda a Europa para que promovam a utilização da bicicleta nos seus países.
Deixamos em baixo a contribuição que enviamos para este guia.

In the scope of the present Dutch presidency of the European Union (UE), on April 14 , all 28 EU Ministers for environment and transport will meet in Amsterdam. At that time, together with the beginning of the Cycling Festival Europe, they will receive a ‘cycling promotion guide’ with best practices from all over Europe to promote cycling in their country.
Below is the contribution we sent to this Cycling Promotion Guide.



Ciclaveiro is a cycling advocacy group, based in Aveiro, Portugal. We believe that cycling as a daily mode of transport, with its economic, environmental, social and health benefits, has the power to improve people’s quality of life.
We are an enthusiastic group of people with lots of projects and ideas, willing to work with the community in a synergetic way towards a more inclusive, sustainable and happy city.
The group adopts a bottom-up approach, aiming at the involvement of a wide spectrum of citizens and community agents in projects and activities related to the promotion of cycling for commuting and other daily-life transportation activities. We also collaborate with local authorities, trying to raise their awareness of the importance of cycling for the community and proposing measures that can lead to better conditions for an easier, safer and more common use of the bicycle in our streets and roads. We expect with this methodology to complement the bottom-up approach with a top-down one, in order to bring about our objectives.


Main activities and projects:

Aveiro Cycling Mapping

Mapping the Aveiro cycling infrastructures has been our first project and it is expected to remain as a “work in progress” for the future to come. The project intends to support the existing cycling community, including visitors and tourists, and also to motivate other potential users. Within this project we try to identify and map the most relevant cycling features, such as parking stands, bicycle paths, bike shops, best routes, critical points, etc. This is a collaborative project, where the data collected by Ciclaveiro members are processed and made available online as a map.
This information constitutes also an important resource to help us realize the real problems of our city and to better understand what can be done to improve cycling conditions.

When: Work in progress.
Objectives: To perceive the city cycling conditions and to provide useful information to current and potential city bicycle users, visitors and tourists.
Target groups: Current and potential city bicycle users, visitors and tourists.
More information:



‘Cicloficinas’ are community bike workshops. They happen twice a month (once at the city centre, once at the University) in Aveiro.
We provide tools and expertise in bicycle repair and invite people to bring their own bikes and, with each one’s and our help, they try to do the reparations by themselves, learning and becoming more self-sufficient in the process. It is also an opportunity to share cycling experiences.

When: Permanent since May 2015.
Objectives: Contribute to stronger ties inside the community, help people becoming more confident and self-sufficient, and make the areas where Cicloficinas take place a lively meeting point.
Target groups: Current and potential bicycle users.
More information:


Monthly article on Aveiro’s local newspaper

Ciclaveiro has an opinion article every month on Diário de Aveiro, the local newspaper, where we try to transmit different perspectives of cycling as a form of mobility. Our themes are such as its diverse benefits to bicycle users and to society, the culture heritage of cycling in Aveiro’s region, the context of cycling in other countries, tips to daily cyclists and to potential ones, and so.

When: Monthly since June 2015.
Objectives: To spread cycling as a regular mode transport to a wider audience.
Target audience: Newspaper readers.


1st Aveiro City Bike Experience

The City Bike Experience was an event with the intention of providing to the participants the experience of daily cycling in urban context. During the roughly 5 km course, there were a few challenges where at the same time participants had to go to shops, to the train station, buy a newspaper, lock their bikes properly, carry a musical instrument and even had the opportunity to ride an old bread distribution bicycle.
The 1st Aveiro City Bike Experience was part of the ‘Aveiro Fashion’ event, and there was a contest to select the most fashionable bicycle-cyclist duo.

When: July 18th 2015
Objectives: To show that cycling as a regular means of transportation in urban context is perfectly compatible with our daily activities and professional and social needs, and an easy, practical, fast, economical and healthy way of doing so.
Target audience: Regular and occasional bicycle users.
More information:



In one of the very few cycle paths existing in Aveiro, leading to and along the University, the separation between the road and the cycle path has been destroyed along the years. The cycle path is now constantly used by cars to illegally park there, making it useless to cyclists who in many points have to divert to the road.
We asked people to take photos and share them on facebook with the hashtag #ciclopega, trying to make authorities aware of the problem and car users who park there of the inconvenience and danger they are causing to cyclists.
The campaign has attracted a lot of attention by local and national media, was selected by the European Mobility Week to be its first ‘Action in the Spotlight’ and also included in its November newsletter.
Letters with the description of the situation and the campaign and with proposed actions for solutions to the problem were sent to the relevant entities.

When: Since September 2015.
Objectives: Raise awareness among car drivers and the authorities of the illegal and dangerous situation.
Target audience: Bicycle users and all the population in general.
More information and photos:


Contest of shop fronts ‘The bicycle and the city of Aveiro

The city and region of Aveiro had in the past a strong tradition of cycling, which gradually was lost in the 60s, 70s and 80s with the increase of number of cars. Ciclaveiro, in collaboration with local commercial associations and the local newspaper, invited shops to participate in this contest and to use the traditional or the modern presence of the bicycle in Aveiro as inspiration to decorate the shop fronts.The contest started during the European Mobility Week and lasted for a month, ending at the informal talk ‘Bicycle and local business’ with the awards event.

When: Contest from September 22nd to October 21st 2015. Awards event on October 30th.
Objectives: Promote cycling as a daily means of transportation in Aveiro.
Target groups: Shop owners, managers and customers, and pedestrians in general.
More information:


Bicycle and local business

An informal talk and exchange of ideas on the advantages that a bike-friendly city and shops can bring to commercial activity.
The event had the presence of some “special” guests, and participants were expected to present their views, needs and doubts about the theme. These were freely discussed in an informal manner.
We asked for ideas on how more bicycles could improve local economy and business, how to attract cyclist to shops and commercial areas and how to create better conditions for cycling in Aveiro.
A few videos, with examples where changes towards a higher bicycle presence have improved local trade dynamics, were displayed, creating space for debate.
At the end, the winners of the shops fronts contest ‘The bicycle and the city of Aveiro’ were revealed and prizes given.

When: October 30th 2015.
Objectives: Discuss the potential advantages to local business of a higher presence and proximity of people cycling, what necessities shop owners and managers have and what they can do for that to happen, and also how they can profit from incorporating bicycles in their activities.
Target groups: Shop owners and managers and the community in general.
More information and photos:


Mini Rodas

Mini Rodas (“Mini Wheels”, in English) was a short and easy bike ride for children up to around 10 years old.
Families and kids were invited to bring their tricycles, balance/learning bikes or children bikes. There were gifts, balloons, music, a short ride with games suitable to all ages, a group photo, lots of fun and a shared picnic in the end.

When: November 14th 2015.
Objectives: Raise awareness, among the community and especially families, of the importance of cycling as a means of transportation from an early age.
Target groups: Children up to around 10 years and families.
More information:



Pedaladar is a Ciclaveiro’s project with the goal of offering used/recycled bicycles to people with low resources to acquire one.
We are collecting donated bicycles and parts. In our ‘cicloficinas’ (community bike workshops) we repair and assemble them, making them operational so that they can be offered directly, or in collaboration with social institutions, to whom needs a bicycle for regular use.

When: Since December 2015.
Objectives: Collect donated bicycles and parts, repair and assemble the bicycles and offer them to people with low resources.
Target groups: People with low income and social institutions.
More information:


Suggestions for Aveiro’s Master Development Plan revision

The revision of Aveiro municipality’s Master Development Plan started with a period for public participation, as obliged by the Portuguese law, where citizens could contribute with suggestions. Due to the importance of the Plan to the future of Aveiro, and particularly to the definition of local mobility policies, Ciclaveiro organized a participative and collaborative process aiming to debate sustainable mobility, gather suggestions that represented the desires of the community and in the end to have a set of suggestions supported by a large group of citizens to be presented to the municipality.
Complemented by actual orientations from Portuguese and European institutions, best practices and examples of successful cases on implementing sustainable forms of mobility, and recommendations from the reference bibliography in the field, the process resulted in a document with 52 suggestions to establishment of a vision and objectives towards a more inclusive and sustainable mobility, improvement of the public space and road safety of vulnerable users, creation of cycling infrastructures and improvement of bicycle use conditions, and promotion of regular bicycle use. The document was subscribed by 213 citizens and 5 associations.

When: From December 16th 2015 to January 28th 2016.
Objectives: Contribute to the revision of Aveiro’s Master Development Plan with suggestions that can contribute to a more sustainable mobility, to better cycling conditions and to a relevant raise in the number of bicycle users in Aveiro.
Target audience: Citizens and municipality.
Document and more information:


1st Cycling Advocacy Groups National Meeting

Ciclaveiro organized the first national (Portuguese) meeting of local and national cycling advocacy groups, associations and other organizations. The meeting took place in Aveiro on the 20th of February.
On the morning, each of the 17 present organizations made a short presentation of its motivations and activities. On the first part of the afternoon the participants were divided in groups to debate specific topics related to promotion of cycling mobility. The second part consisted in an open discussion of possible means of communication and collaboration between groups and on how to give the first steps towards a nation-wide strategy.
The meeting was also opened to other interested organizations and people.

When: February 20th 2016.
Objectives: To meet other organizations members and establish a network of contacts at national level. To encourage the formation of new citizens’ initiatives. To exchange ideas, experiences and knowledge between organizations. To boost communication and collaborations and to launch the first steps of a nation-wide strategy with the aim of helping to increase the number of people cycling as a transport mode in Portugal.
Targets groups: Cycling advocacy groups, associations and other organizations, with interventions at local or national level. Community, in general, with interest in cycling as a mode of transportation.
Presentations, results from the specific debates, summary of the open discussion, interviews, photos and more information:


O documento original que enviamos está disponível em / The original document we sent is available at:—Ciclaveiro-contribution-to-the-Cycling-Promotion-Toolbox_v2.pdf 




Em baixo estão algumas páginas do Guia, cuja versão digital (pdf) se encontra disponível em / Below are some pages of the Guide, whose electronic version (pdf) is available from:
The EU Cycling Promotion Guide – Crossing Borders for Cycling Best Practices:


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