Cycling Week hopes for traffic to run peacefully

Kuva: Lev Karavanov

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Cycling Week invites locals to get on their bikes between 3 and 12 May 2024. The event will be opened on Saturday 4 May at Kansalaistori Square, which is also the setting-off point for the cycling parade for peaceful traffic. During weekdays, bicycle commuters are served breakfast in the Tikkurila district of Vantaa, Töölönlahti Park in Helsinki and Keilaniemi in Espoo. The school route orienteering related to peaceful traffic and the independent mobility of children will be published online during the week, alongside interviews with families with children. The event also includes bicycle trips for the whole family and information for planning longer cycling excursions.

The free and low-threshold events welcome cyclists and bicycle enthusiasts of all ages and levels. You do not need to have your own bike to participate, city bikes are an adequate option.

The theme for the week is peaceful traffic, which refers to a calm traffic environment and the calm behaviour of road users. A traffic environment and traffic culture that are perceived to be safe and peaceful increase the appeal of cycling among all age groups. 

The traffic environment can be calmed through limitations and by structural means that are known to be important for traffic safety and comfort. Calming the traffic environment is important in every location where the aim is to improve the appeal and safety of walking and cycling. Special attention must be paid to areas that already have or are intended to draw large numbers of children. These include day care and school route as well as the nearby areas of schools and day care centres. Correspondingly, peaceful traffic environments are needed for recreational trips in the vicinity of cultural institutions, libraries and sports facilities.

“When the traffic environment is sufficiently safe and smooth for children to cycle independently, it will be exactly that for everyone from beginners to seniors – regardless of age,” explains Executive Director of Helsinki Region Cyclists (Hepo) Henni Ahvenlampi.

The aim of both the Helsinki Metropolitan Area cities and the Cycling Week events is to encourage people to cycle and increase the use of bicycles in all travelling. We encourage people to consider their options when moving from one place to another. It is important to increase people’s awareness of the benefits of cycling and to enhance cycling’s position in our traffic culture. In terms of the bicycle infrastructure, we encourage building an environment where people of all ages with different types of bikes can both ride and park their bikes safely and with ease during all seasons. 

The Cycling Week in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is coordinated by Helsinki Region Cyclists association (Hepo). The week’s events will be organised in cooperation with the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa Helsinki Region Transport (HSL), and other operators in the bicycle sector. Hepo volunteers will also contribute to the event.

At all Cycling Week events, you can participate in the Finnish Cyclists’ Federation’s campaign for recruitment of members. Those who become members by 29 September 2024 will be included in a prize draw for an electrically-assisted Helkama bike (value up to € 2,349). The draw will take place on 9 October 2024.

Join the Cycling Week events

Saturday 4 May 

Cycling Week Grand Opening and Bike Parade for the Whole Family

Hepo and its partners will hold the grand opening of the Cycling Week at Helsinki Kansalaistori Square next to the Oodi Library on Saturday, 4 May at 11:00–16:00.  

The grand opening event is full of entertainment and fun activities for all! Test ride fringe benefit bikes and the city bikes of Helsinki and Espoo, and decorate your own bicycle with a City of Helsinki environmental educator. The LiiKe Sports & Development association presents sports games it has created for global education, and invites participants to test their knowledge on sustainable development. Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen will give a celebratory speech to commemorate the completion of the Kaisantunneli tunnel. The highlight of the event is a bike parade for peaceful traffic where we will experience the joy of cycling together. The trip may spark cyclists to consider the importance of a calm traffic environment and the calm behaviour of road users. The parade will set off at about 13:00 from the Kansalaistori Square and return to the same place after about one hour.

Of course, there will also be music as Trash Heroes DJs provide tunes between 11:00–14:00. Visitors also have the opportunity to have the condition and safety of their bikes checked free of charge by a bike maintenance professional from Helsingin Pyörähuolto Oy. Naturally, you can also meet representatives of Helsinki Region Cyclists. The Kansalaistori Square event will provide tips and information about both cycling and traffic rules.

Event in Facebook: https://fb.me/e/c2ekIl7KE

Sunday, 5 May
Bicycle Ride for the Whole Family in Helsinki

On Sunday, 5 May, there will be a guided bicycle ride for the whole family free-of-charge. The ride starts from Kansalaistori square at 10. The route is about 25 kilometres long and will take about 3 hours.

The ride will involve discovering animal-themed sculptures and exploring the magnificent murals of Itä-Pasila, which features geese, lions and dragons, among other creatures! The pace will be slow so that everyone can keep up – this means that the route is even suitable for those who have not cycled much. There will be multiple small breaks during the trip to enjoy art pieces. You can bring small drinks and snacks to have by the sculptures. You can also use a city bike to participate in the ride.

Event in Facebook: https://fb.me/e/1BUWGNt4J

Monday 6/5, Tuesday 7/5, Wednesday 8/5

Breakfast for Cyclists

The popular Breakfast for Cyclists event invites everyone to pedal to Töölönlahti Park, Maalitori in the Tikkurila of Vantaa and Keilaniemi in Espoo.

On Monday 6 May, breakfast catering will be available at Maalitori in Tikkurila, Vantaa, at the address Maalipolku 9. The breakfast event Vantaa’s cyclist of the year will be announced and the city employees will also present city bikes. On Tuesday 7 May, those who would fancy coffee and something to eat will be served in Töölönlahtipuisto Park next to Finlandia Hall at the new location of the Helsinki Bike Centre and, on Wednesday 8 May in Keilaniemi, Espoo, in front of Laguuni. Hepo volunteers will serve breakfast to cyclists every day from 7:00 till 9:00.

Vantaa event in Facebook: https://fb.me/e/y47yjfrwc
Helsinki event in Facebook: https://fb.me/e/1Npk5FKAU
Espoo event in Facebook: https://fb.me/e/1yxnDNkhi

Tuesday, 7 May

Cycling in Italy – ideas and tips for slow travel

Would you like to learn where to head in Italy when you want to find beautiful spots, appealing services and overnight accommodations, and to explore the area on a bicycle? Come enjoy the views and hear tips from experienced bicycle traveller Mirja Priha to plan the best trip to Italy for yourself, your family or a group of friends.

The event will offer inspiring ideas for a variety of cycling in Italy from guided tours on basic bikes to longer treks on your own through varying locations and landscapes: Rome, Assisi, Matera, the Dolomites and Sicily. The event will be held in cooperation with the Finlandia-Italia ry association.

See you on 7 May at 17–18:30 in the 3rd floor reading room of Rikhardinkatu Library.
Event in Facebook: https://fb.me/e/3bIqTaU9M

Friday, 10 May

Release of the school route orienteering

The school route orienteering for the Cycling Week will be released on Friday 10 May at hepo.fi. The orienteering invites the whole family to explore the best and most promising school routes in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. You can cycle the route in your own time and go through only one school route, for example.

We need proper bicycle routes to schools -interview in Helsinki

Get online and navigate to Hepo’s Facebook page at 15:00 for a Live Feed interview on a local child’s school route on a bicycle. A parent and child who live in Helsinki will talk about how well cyclists have been taken into account along the route and what needs work. Among other topics, the interview will cover the hazardous Tripla roundabout, pick-up and drop-off traffic by car, and bicycle parking in the school yard. A recording of the Live feed interview will be available later on Hepo’s Facebook page and a blog post based on it will also be published on Hepo’s website so you can read more about the subject later.

Saturday, 11 May 

The Basics of Bikepacking in Helsinki 

Come learn about bikepacking with Taina Renkonen, an adventure cyclist (seikkailupyöräilijä) known on social media. At the event, you will hear Taina’s tips for getting started with bikepacking and planning trips, whether they will take you near or far. How to start with bikepacking? What kind of equipment do you need? What to pack with you? How to plan a route? How to select a good spot for your campsite? You will get answers to these and many other questions during the lecture.

The day will begin with a laid back lecture portion outdoors next to the Maunula hiking lodge, after which those willing can join a cycling trip led by Taina. The maximum length of the trip will be 15 km, which will involve a demonstration of setting up a camp and a discussion on choosing a good sleeping spot and the related safety aspects.

The event will begin at noon and end no later than 15:00. You do not need to bring any equipment – except for a bike if you want to join the ride after the lecture. The event is free and does not require registration. We hope to see you there!

Event in Facebook: https://fb.me/e/56TDkFh7B

Saturday, 11 May

Bicycle travel in Vantaa

Would you like to travel on a bicycle? Join the ride that starts from Kuusijärvi and follows a section of the South by Cycle trail with Kristiina Vaano, the woman who created it. The South by Cycle trail runs from Hanko to Kouvola, and the ride covers Kuusijärvi and Sipoonkorpi in Vantaa. You will also receive information on bicycle travel opportunities along the South by Cycle trail.

You can get familiar with the route in Vantaa: https://www.bikeland.fi/southbycycle-sipoonkorpi South by Cycle is a network of routes, which follows mainly gravel routes and paths, so consider that when you choose your bicycle for the day. 

The ride will begin at 12 noon in the Kuusijärvi outdoor recreation area and end in the same place before 15:00. The day will begin with a small introduction to long distance cycling – gear and tips. The ride will take an app. 1.5 hours. The ride is suitable for beginners. 

To take part in the ride with your own bicycle or rent a regular or electric fatbike from Biking.fi. With code HEPO10 on Biking.fi will offer you a 10% discount on bike rentals on their website. 

Welcome 11/5 at 12 o’clock to our meeting point outside of Biking.fi rentals: Kuusijärventie 3, Vantaa

More information: kristiinavaano@gmail.com 

The trip is full.

The trip is organised by Visit Vantaa.

Programmes for the events will be published at hepo.fi/pyorailyviikko/ and Hepo’s Facebook events.

More information:

Taija Timonen
Producer, Helsinki Region Cyclists
050 0877 877

Henni Ahvenlampi
Executive Director, Helsinki Region Cyclists
041 3191002

Helsinki Region Cyclists

Helsinki Region Cyclists (Hepo) is a non-government organisation focused on the promotion of cycling and has over 1,500 members. We are a community and lobbyist for the people cycling in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Our aim is to improve the conditions for cycling and to make the Helsinki Metropolitan Area a more pleasant place to live and move around in. Become a member: hepo.fi/liity

Network of cycling municipalities

The network of cycling municipalities coordinate the national Cycling Week which is the largest and most diverse cycling event in Finland. The Cycling Week mobilises thousands of Finnish people and attracts new cyclists. 

The network of cycling municipalities aims to double the amount of cycling in Finland and to ensure safe and high-quality cycling conditions for all. Another central objective is strengthening the cooperation between cyclists and cycling advocates.