By Leman Mammadova
Presently the harming to the environment caused by transport vehicles is one of the most pressing problems in the world.
Cars hold leading position in environmental pollution (by more than 90 percent) as well as cause traffic jams that keep people on track for hours.
Many countries have already realized the seriousness of the situation and eye using alternative kinds of transport as a solution to this challenge.
Bicycle is a type of transport that plays an important role in protecting the environment, reducing traffic jams and improving human health.
The bicycle is the second most common technical product that has been produced and distributed worldwide after the sewing machine. The small size, low cost and lack of fuel demand are the main reasons for it being so wide-spread in the world.
The first bicycle was invented in Germany. In 1817, Baron von Drais invented a walking machine that would help him get around the royal gardens faster: two same-size in-line wheels, the front one steerable, mounted in a frame which you straddled. The device was propelled by pushing your feet against the ground, thus rolling yourself and the device forward in a sort of gliding walk.
The next appearance of a two-wheeled riding machine was in 1865, when pedals were applied directly to the front wheel. This machine was known as the velocipede ("fast foot").
In 1870, the first all metal machine appeared thanks to the development of metallurgy.
The history of bicycle use in Azerbaijan dates back to 1930. Then, for the first time, people in Azerbaijan started using bicycle as a vehicle.
Today, meeting cyclist in the streets of our capital is not somewhat unusual. So, to popularize bicycle even more and create conditions for the cyclists, bicycle trails and stops will be created on the roads in Azerbaijan.
This is stated in the State Program for Road Safety for 2019-2023, approved by the presidential decree of December 27, 2018, Trend reports on January 7.
The document states that the areas, where bicycle trails and stops can be created, will be determined and relevant proposals will be prepared and implemented.
In addition, parallel roads (carriageways) will be established at appropriate places on the roads, on which the movement of agricultural transport and technological vehicles is prohibited, and other measures will be implemented.
It is also planned to optimize the number of livestock transitions in accordance with safety rules on the roads and motorways of national significance and pastures in areas where the livestock farms are widespread.
The establishement of bike trails on the roads will contribute considerably to the reduction of accidents on the roads. It will also help the development of bicycle as a real transport and sport means in Azerbaijan, that most of people regarded as an entertainment tool, so far.
It should be noted that the 8-kilometer bicycle trail has been already laid on Novkhani-Sumgait road for cyclists' movement in Azerbaijan.
The first locally produced bicycles, ISMA Bikes, were presented in 2017. The bicycle plant offers a fairly wide range of products - 40 different models of bicycles, starting from those for kids to bikes used by professional riders.
ISMA Bikes, which is a part of Synergy Group, is the first bicycle manufacturer in Azerbaijan which has been operating in Azerbaijan since August 2016. The facility was built in the village of Diyalli of Azerbaijan’s Ismayilli region.
The plant has a yearly production capacity of 20,000-30,000 bicycles. The facility is provided with Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, Chinese, and Turkish equipment.
Cycling has also been developed as a kind of sport besides its transport use.
The first bicycle race was held in Sweden in 1819. Since 1893, world cycling competitions, European and other competitions have been held. Bicycle races were included in the first Olympic Games program.
Bicycle sports include road, track, mountain, and BMX (cycling motocross) types. The International Cycling Union (UCI) was founded by bicycle sports organizations in Belgium, U.S., France, Italy and Switzerland in Paris in 1900. UCI organizes international bicycle races.
Azerbaijan is one of the leading countries in organizing sports tournaments.
UCI BMX World Championships was held in Baku four times and brought together more than 1,500 cyclists from 43 countries.
Cycling is developing steadily in Azerbaijan year by year and bicycle races have become traditional during the public holidays. Azerbaijani Cycling team Synergy Baku project successfully participates in the international competitions. The Tour d'Azerbaijan, exciting cycling competition, has been held in the country since 2012.
The purpose of the cycling race is to attract the attention of the public and private sectors to the implementation of the Paris Climate Change Framework Convention (reduction of CO2 up to 35 percent by 2030), contributing to the reduction of heat-generating gases and promoting the tradition of days off without cars.
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