Cycle and the City
I embarked on yet another project wanting to learn something new. The topic seemed interesting, mainly because it’s lines up with my area of work. I wasn’t disappointed. Cycling, arts & crafts, getting to know the local bike community and befriending new people from various countries – that’s how, in brief, I can sum up the project which took place in Kaunas, Lithuania between 22nd and 30th of October 2017.
First days were devoted mostly to getting acquainted with other participants and presenting the project outline. Icebreaking was swift. The group was so bicycle-keen that we all got very invested already on day two. We had great trainers who were responsive to our remarks and could easily adapt to various circumstances (e.g. unscheduled outdoor activities when the weather was right). They also prepared interesting group activities which led to creative ideas.
The project was about cycling in a city. Kaunas is second biggest city in Lithuania and one of thousands alike in Europe. That’s why I think it was a good place for project with such a subject. We had an opportunity to get to know local bicycle culture, as well as that in other countries, and learn what problems they have to face. As it had turned out they are quite similar to issues that we have to tackle back in Poland.
The highlight of the project was an event that we prepared for from the very beginning. Have you ever wondered how many bicycles can fit into a space occupied by just one car? During the project we found that out together with a group of cyclist from all over Europe. We crafted 3 bamboo car-shaped “skeletons” and took them for a spin on the streets of Kaunas. The main goal was to show how much space can be saved with bicycles. It was first such an event in Lithuania. Local residents couldn’t hide their surprise. Some of them complained about the traffic that it caused, and others gave the participants a warm welcome.
We had plenty of free time to do some sightseeing and get . I’m certain that it’s not going to be my last project.
This initiative was a part of the “Erasmus +” program. During the project 40 young people representing Lithuania, Spain, Poland, Italy, United Kingdom and Denmark met for a week to share their experiences about cycling.