Katowice has joined the national competition for the Cup of the Bicycle Capital of Poland. On the first day of spring, a two-month warm-up will start whereas the main race is scheduled for June. The project encourages the residents to use a bicycle as a means of transport and promotes a healthy lifestyle: it is enough to download the app and ride for the city.
Katowice accepted the invitation from Bydgoszcz which has launched this nationwide competition for the fifth time. “We see it more as a fun than a race. It is also another way to encourage people to think of a bicycle as a means of transport. The Bicycle Capital of Poland project is in sync with our current efforts to promote the bicycle among residents and the City Hall employees. We hope that individual cyclists will join us together with the groups representing companies, institutions, associations or schools,” says Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice.
The competition is based on the free Active Cities app. Once downloaded to a phone, it counts kilometres and then translates them into points for a selected city. The app measures time, distance and calories, and marks the routes on a map. A detailed statistic of rides, the so-called “heat map,” collects data on the most frequently taken routes.
The official Training for the Bicycle Capital of Poland2023 starts on the first day of spring. Between March 21 and May 21, the residents will cycle for their cities and test their form before the June race! To encourage the inhabitants to take part in the training, Katowice City Hall was the first to set up its team, that, as the new cycling season starts, will continue the “Przeciepnij sie na koło” campaign which was launched last year. Katowice policy officials, who commute by bicycle, have become the ambassadors of the campaign. If you want to know why they have chosen this means of transportation, go to the city’s social media.
Fun and prizes
The rules of the competition are simple: residents download a free app that records the routes and their distances. “The participant choose the city they ride for. This can be done anywhere, but we encourage them to use numerous bike routes in Katowice. Anyone who downloads the app will gain a free training tool, the access to their rankings and history. If they sign up for the training now, they certainly won’t miss the June’s competition for the title of the the Bicycle Capital of Poland, but also local badges, challenges or rallies,” mentions Marta Chmielewska, Director of Promotion Department in Katowice City Hall. Today, March 21, you can earn a virtual badge for riding at least 15 kilometres and take part in a drawing for a national prize – an official yellow Bicycle Capital of Poland T-shirt.
Kilometres covered during the training add up for the selected city, however, they are not added to the main competition in June. That’s when the countdown for the nation competition starts and the conversion rate applies: the covered kilometres are converted into points which depend on the size of a city. The prize for the June race will be the Cup of the Bicycle Capital of Poland, currently held by Biala Podlaska. The top three cities will win bike repair stations. There are also individual prizes for the participants of the competition: vouchers to the CentrumRowerowe.pl store, as well as 80 additional prizes for the top three women and men in different age categories, respectively. Katowice will also prepare local prizes, which will be announced on its social media profiles.
As of now, 51 cities have signed up for this edition. In addition to Bydgoszcz, there are Poznań, Bialystok, Chorzów, Leszno, Toruń, Tarnów, Koszalin, Płock, Rybnik, or Biała Podlaska, which will compete for the third consecutive victory. The new feature this year is a competition between municipalities, and every day the list of applicants is longer.
Last training involved 53 cities with almost 15 thousand cyclists, who covered 2.3 million kilometres. In total, more than 175,000 workouts were performed. The event is under the honorary patronage of the Union of Polish Metropolises and the Association of Polish Cities.
How to join the training?
– In the menu, select “Rywalizacje”, then “Ogólne”: Trening Rowerowej Stolicy Polski 2023 -UWAGA: dla Miast (Bicycle Capital of Poland 2023 Training – NOTE: for Cities).
– To join the competition, select Katowice from the list.
– Next choose a group from the list or propose a new group, wait for the coordinator’s approval and take part in fun along with your friends/co-workers!
More about Active Cities app: https://aktywne.miasta.pl
Katowice for Bicycles
“We take a systemic approach to bicycles. We see them as a means of recreation and transport. That’s why, apart from developing a city bicycle network, we focus on the expansion of bicycle routes and invest in this infrastructure. This year we are planning to start almost 8 km of new lanes under the “Katowice Bicycle Infrastructure” and prepare the documents for another 2.3 km. The total value is over PLN 28 million. In addition, we maintain the existing bicycle paths and lanes and make the necessary repairs,” says Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice.
Bike lanes are currently underway near Francuska Street and on Gospodarcza Street while the construction of new bicycle infrastructure on Hallera Street will start soon. Eventually, Katowice is expected to have a network of lanes which enables safe and comfortable rides around the city. To sum up, between 2015 and 2023, more than 43 kilometres of bike lanes were built in Katowice for over PLN 34 million.