May 20, the traditional spring Bike Day took place in Kharkiv for the 13th time and attracted an impressive number of cyclists.
The bicycle race, promoting a healthy lifestyle, has turned into joyful multicolored festival since 2007 when Kharkiv joined all-Ukrainian initiative for the first time.
According to the official reports, this year about 25,000 people took part in the joyful bike race, which is an absolute record compared to all the previous years.
The participants rode their bicycles together with their families, friends and little children. The youngest cyclist was 3. Some of them were wearing fancy dress and Ukrainian national costumes.
The race started and finished on Maidan Svobody, passing along the main city roads from Nauky Avenue to Sumska Street. The streets were closed to traffic for several hours, providing bickers’ safety.
Before the mass start, cyclists held a flash mob, lined up along the emblem of Kharkiv and a huge balloon was flown above the main square.
This year’s slogan of the Kharkiv Bike Day was “Ilon Mask has launched his Tesla into space, and Kharkivites are launching a bicycle to Mars.”
One of the organizers recalls that at the very beginning, 11 years ago, only several hundred Kharkivites took part in the festival, which was an extraordinary and challenging event. Yesterday’s record number of participants demonstrated not only the huge increased popularity of the bicycle but an incredible shift in people’s mindset.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: Vasyl Holosny