Pierrick, a Frenchman from Lille, arrived at our Matosinhosdam Megastore after riding 40 days from Montpellier to Porto. On the rack (or trailer) he brought his surfboard, on a sort of improvised carrier.
This trip is part of a broader project called Eco Nomad Rider, something Pierrick is doing with the support of the Surf Rider Foundation. The objective is to create awareness, among the local populations, for Ocean cleaning initiatives. Part of our conversation was about sustainability, something that is fundamental for our new friend: he rides a cork and flax surfboard! We also talked about the bike culture in our countries.
“I noticed a difference between riding in Central Porto and this area. Things seem to be easier around here (Matosinhos), with more cycle lanes and street signs. In Porto, I had some trouble with drivers. They don’t respect cyclists. The Mayor should fund some cycling awareness campaigns!
In Lille, we are close to the Netherlands and authorities want to follow their example. There is lots of information and many bike related projects, such as the financing for the workers riding a bicycle every day. The City Council Parks is building car parks on the outskirts and asking people to leave their cars out of the city centre. Things are getting a grip and civic projects such as “Les Mains Dans Le Guidon”, where paying a symbolic annual fee, one can use tools (and expertise) to fix a bicycle. There’s also a used bikes shop and a small café where the cycling community gets together.”