A swarm of cyclists descended upon Tel Aviv on October 5th to participate in the city’s third annual Sovev cycling race, and the Dutch Ambassador was there to give them a grand send off! Wearing a suit, Caspar Veldkamp congratulated Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai for joining over 60 cities in Europe who have signed the Brussels Treaty of the European Cycling Federation (ECF) as thousands of riders set off on three different routes early this morning.
Thousands of cyclists participated in this year’s race, some braving the longer 42km and 22km routes, and others sticking to the cooler 7.5km.
Tel Aviv’s cycling culture has grown in the last few years. We recently reported that as many as 14% of Tel Aviv residents are biking to work or regularly, but that’s nothing compared to the Dutch.
“84% of the population in Holland owns at least one bike,” said Ambassador Veldkamp. “There are many obvious advantages to cycling: it’s clean, it’s green, it’s cheap and it’s the fastest way of getting around in a city that is equipped for it.”
Still, both Jaffa and Tel Aviv have been working hard to improve their cycling infrastructure, which includes the Tel-o-Fun bike sharing program launched in April, 2011.
“Tel Aviv-Yafo is a city of innovation,” the Ambassador from the Netherlands continued. “We applaud the municipality for transforming Tel Aviv into a cyclist’s city and hope to have been an inspiration as a cycling nation.”
Indeed, although this didn’t stop the car drivers from moaning about the traffic.