About 4,000 bikers took part in Munich’s first Bike Night – an approximately four kilometre long bike tour around the city centre along prominent roads and boulevards. It was the kick-off event for Munich’s ambitious bike campaign: Munich wants to become the “bike capital“ of Europe. For about two hours, the roads and the city tunnel around the city centre were blocked for cars, so only bikers – dressed up in bright colors and funny hats, with creatively decorated and brightly flashing and blinking bikes – conquered the streets of Munich’s inner circle. It was a very novel and fascinating sight, as the inner circle is usually buzzing with cars jamming the road and deafening the fearful pedestrian and biker with reckless drivers honking their horns. But this time, it was the bikers ringing their bells and blowing their whistles: the bikers were in power.
The biking campaign of the city of Munich aims to promote the use of bikes within the city and to enhance the safety of bikers. The city council has increased the financial resources available for the expansion and development of a safe biking infrastructure within the city. Further events like the streetcasting activity “Munich Biking Idol” and the Bicycle Film Festival in December 2010 want to involve the citizens of Munich actively and directly in the campaign. Biking is not only celebrated as a means of getting from A to B, but first and foremost as a modern lifestyle.
Svenja von Gierke