Two “bicycle activists”, Nicolás and Julián, will ride their bikes 2,800km from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janiero to spread the word about sustainability and document the sustainable efforts of the cities they encounter along the way.
Nicolás, 25, a French urban planner and Julián, 27, an Argentine architect, met in January 2012 and discovered they had the same passion for cycling. They started the group Biciactivistas to spread bicycle consciousness throughout Buenos Aires with sticker to put on cars parked in bike lanes. “The drivers become conscious of their action against the cyclists,” Julián said. “Conscious that we exist and that we want to defend the little space we actually have in the city.”
From this project, the website biciactivistas.com, which resolves conflict between pedestrians, cyclists, cars and buses, was born. “Everything comes from the idea that we want to generate consciousness and mutual respect without violence,” Julián said.
“Transportation is one of the most inefficient and contaminated aspects of our cities and we have the power in our hands to find a simple and convenient solution: the bicycle,” he added.
While the Biciactivistas say Buenos Aires has come a long way as far as promoting the bicycle as a way of transportation, they say there are still a lot of changes to be made. “People still don’t respect cyclists; the infrastructure for cyclists is growing but you have to be careful when you travel through high transit zones because drivers are careless or simply don’t respect cyclists,” Julián said.
The idea for The Great Bike Trip is to return to Buenos Aires with effective and diverse ideas to improve sustainability. “We want to show everyone that it is possible to travel with the lowest carbon footprint possible and that it is possible for any normal person; you don’t have to be an athlete,” Julián said. They will pass through large cities including Curitiba, Brazil, a city with some of the most progressive sustainable transportation policies in the world.
The men will interview municipal officials and representatives of NGOs along the way in order to study current policies that aim to improve sustainable transportation. They plan to publish articles and videos of their research on their website throughout the journey. The duo will leave Buenos Aires on 5th November and arrive in Rio de Janiero on 31st December, plenty of time to dig into sustainable solutions and enjoy the ride.
The final product will be a documentary of the journey and a presentation of the best strategies for the improvement of sustainable transportation. Nicolás and Julián will publish their short film on the BiciActivistas website and enter it in film festivals in January 2013 to present the most successful environmentally-friendly ideas.
To support this project on crowd-funding platform Idea.Me, click here.