Cycling advocates from around the world will gather in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on February 23-26 to discuss the future of cities and the role of the bicycle in social, economic, environmental and cultural terms.
The Forum has already confirmed the participation of Chris Carlsson, activist and writer, who in 1992 invited some friends to a bicycle ride in San Francisco that would mark the beginnings of what is now known as Critical Mass. Carlsson participates, along with the general director of São Paulo’s Urban Cyclists’ Association (Ciclocidade) in a panel about “cycle-activism as agent of change for more humane cities”. The initiative came from a reunion of Porto Alegre’s citizens who use the bike for sport, transportation, leisure, as well as businessmen and women.
The other programs include four other panels, on the role of the bicycle in urban mobility, in the economy, bicycles promoting tourism and competitive cycling. Among other speakers already confirmed, is the twice para-Olympic champion Soelito Gohr and the businesman and activist, Eldon Jung.
The dates for the World Bicycle Forum were chosen to coincide with the one year anniversary of the attack on Porto Alegre’s Critical Mass by a driver who ran over over twenty cyclists, and caused general commotion throughout the world and has been generating discussion on traffic violence.
Registration is open for self-managed workshops. Already scheduled workshops will address issues like Cycle Chic, vehicular cycling, cargo transportation by bicycles, bike’s basic mechanics, non-violent communication, the bicycle in social projects, proper diet for cyclism athletes, cyber-activism, bicycle from the judicial point of view, among others.
Special bike rides are also scheduled during the forum: a bike city tour on Wednesday February 23, passing through Porto Alegre’s main touristic sites, and a Sunday ride organized by the local recumbent bicycle riders. On February 24 the World Bicycle Forum invites its participants to join Porto Alegre’s Critical Mass, from 6:15 p.m. on Zumbi dos Palmares plaza.