A few hundred cycling lovers participated in the third Climate Race organized by the Danish Embassy on May 19, 2013, in Beijing.
The one-day-long cycling event in and around Beijing aims to promote the biking culture, green transportation and environmental protection.
It is divided into two parts, among which the first part took place in downtown Beijing starting from the Danish Embassy; followed by a second part together with bike clubs and association in a park of Yanqing County on the northwestern outskirts of Beijing. The Danish Embassy provided bikes and biking equipment for all participants, as well as transportation to and from Yanqing.
China is widely regarded as a big country for the production and use of bicycles. In 2011, the total bike production output throughout the country came to 83.45 million, China Bicycle Association reported. Nevertheless, contrary to this climbing production number, the domestic market seems to have declined in recent years, and a large number of bikes made in China are exported to other countries.
A worsening transportation environment, poor air quality and inconvenient cycling conditions may have cooled off the passion of those former bike lovers.
Danish Ambassador Mr Friis Arne Petersen said at the opening of the event that Denmark and China had both been called the “Kingdom of Bicycles,” and he hoped this event would mark the return of the green, low-carbon and sustainable form of transportation to the lives of people in China.
He added that China, a nation with a large population and rapid economic growth, is faced with an increasing energy demand, and can therefore learn from the experiences of Denmark in dealing with challenges.
The event was jointly hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing, China Bicycling Association and the Yanqing government.
The downtown section of the event consisted of a short bike ride of approximately three km. The second part covered 23 km across the beautiful surroundings of Yanqing County.
The county was chosen as a venue for the cycling competition during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Cyclists are said to believe that the Yanqing route is the most beautiful one in the world, according to local officials.
Yanqing is now a state-level ecological demonstration zone, with 72 percent of the area covered in grass and trees. It also possesses over10,000 hectares of wetlands, or more than five percent of the total area. Government officials have be trying to boost their county’s image as a cycling center.