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about Cycling Societies, VeloCityRuhr

how we got here: VeloCityRuhr, Line for Life, and Cycling Societies

I contacted some people in Bangladesh, Denmark, England, Germany, and the USA inviting them to become part of the Cycling Societies project. So let’s see what will happen.
Meanwhile I put some more thoughts into it.

You might wonder who I am and why I do this. So here’s a little history:

As a research manager, my job is to find people and information, and put it together to create new projects. That’s why I attend conferences of all sorts. And there is a wide range of ways of how one can run such an event. Let’s make it short here: they can make it good, or not so. Still, there’s always something you can get out of it anyway, so it’s practically part of the game. This one time, in fall 2009 I realized that a lot of people are doing a lot of things – in this case on cycling.
People met. I was one of them. Nothing happened. At least nothing that I could have noticed as a research manager, or as an interested citizen for that matter. They did not have the tools or the time to make something happen. That was when I thought to myself, we do not need a conference for a day, but a conference for every single day. As I told Peter about my plans he gave me the hint about the clearing house concept. Until then a clearing house to me was simply a warehouse where goods are being delivered on pallet, stored, repacked and distributed to customers. You can do the same in finances or simply with any kind of information. One example is the worldwide clearing house to protect the biodiversity. In summer 2010 we created VeloCityRuhr as a clearing house – you also could say: an information and networking platform – for cycling in the Ruhr metropolitan region, Germany. The network is growing gradually. So far all information is just available in German – you can (let) translate it yourself or simply read the upcoming posts with VeloCityRuhr tags on this blog.

Simultaneously we wanted to create the so-called “Line for Life” – a network for sustainability along a line running around the globe connecting cities like Sao Paulo or St. Petersburg, and nature reserves like Lago Argentino or Lake Baikal. We failed to do so.
But while figuring out how to connect cycling activists/advocates we learned that you cannot stick to a certain line, you have to connect Dhaka and Copenhagen, Munich and Vancouver, Wangao and Wanne-Eickel.

We want to connect the cycling societies of the world to share and increase knowledge and get more cycles on the streets.

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