It’s been 10 years since CERN joined Bike to Work, a national initiative to promote health across companies based in Switzerland, organised by the PRO VELO association. The Laboratory has never missed an edition since 2012. In 2022, 941 CERN cyclists pedalled 62% of their working days during the campaign, propelling CERN to first place not only in Romandy, but also in the category of companies with 1000 to 4999 employees. The 252 CERN teams cycled, in total, a distance roughly equivalent to five times the length of the equator. To top it all off, about a hundred cernois participated in a “Critical Mass” ride around the Meyrin site on 16 June to celebrate the virtues of cycling.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated public transportation restrictions, cycling has been surging across the Organization: it accounted for about 13% of all commutes in 2021. Challenges such as Bike to Work and Bike to CERN have helped to normalise cycling as a daily means of transport, as have individual initiatives: Benoît D’Hulster, who has taken part in all Bike to Work editions for the last eight years, has recorded a cycling distance of 40 000 km, equivalent to the circumference of the Earth, after cycling to CERN from Annemasse every working day for the past 800 days. His message to the CERN community is clear: “Do not hesitate – opt for the bike! The benefits, both physical and mental, are countless”.
Along with CERN’s annual participation in Bike to Work, the Organization is striving to boost road safety for cyclists by improving its soft-mobility infrastructure and negotiating with local authorities. The new bike lanes and bike sheds on the CERN sites have already made life easier for hundreds of cyclists across the Organization.